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Markets, Morals, and the Law$
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Jules L. Coleman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253609.001.0001

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The morality of strict tort liability

The morality of strict tort liability

(p.166) 7. The morality of strict tort liability
Markets, Morals, and the Law

Jules L. Coleman

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that strict liability in torts is both defensible and central to all forms of tort liability. For example, the rule that injurers can be penalised only when they are at fault can be thought of as a form of strict victim liability. Under this rule, a victim bears a loss when an injurer's conduct is faultless, even though the victim may also have acted appropriately. In torts, then, the question is often which of two blameless parties ought to bear the costs of an accident; and so issues of strict liability, rather than being peripheral to tort law, are at its very core.

Keywords:   morality, strict liability, torts, victims, injurers, fault, litigation, compensation, absolute liability

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