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European Tort Law$
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Cees van Dam

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227679

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227679.001.0001

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(p.61) 4 Germany
European Tort Law

Cees van Dam

Oxford University Press

In Germany, tort law is characterised by its systematic approach and its many subtle distinctions. Probably the most characteristic feature of German tort law is judge-made in order to fill lacunae in the Civil Code of 1900. In the early 20th century, the Reichsgericht created safety duties based on negligence, and generally they require a very high level of care. The proper place of these safety duties in the legal system is strongly debated in the legal literature, in which systematic aspects are generally considered to be of great importance even if their practical impact is not always clear. This chapter looks at the German Civil Code provisions on fault liability, judge-made rights such as right to business and general personality right, and rules of stricter liability including liability for things and liability for persons.

Keywords:   Germany, tort law, fault liability, safety duties, liability for things, liability for persons, judge-made rights, right to business, personality right

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