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The Division of WrongsA Historical Comparative Study$
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Eric Descheemaeker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562794.001.0001

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English Law and the Civilian Division of Wrongs

English Law and the Civilian Division of Wrongs

(p.249) 8 English Law and the Civilian Division of Wrongs
The Division of Wrongs

Eric Descheemaeker

Oxford University Press

This penultimate chapter examines the way in which English law could, and arguably should, draw on the experience of the civilian tradition to restructure its law of civil wrongs. The starting point is that it has inherited from its actional past causes of action ‘named so as to intersect’ (Birks), some wrongs being essentially defined in reference to a protected interest and others to a degree of fault. This causes real and significant trouble, as illustrated perhaps most clearly by the case of Spring v. Guardian. While a mere taxonomical rearrangement of the underlying law could not, in itself, cure these defects, straightening out the ‘props’ along which the law grows would make it possible to sort out, in time, the existing conflicts. Possible objections, both theoretical and practical, to the proposed reorganisation of the law are addressed in this chapter.

Keywords:   forms of action, concurrent liability, Spring v. Guardian, loss of a chance, negligence, strict liability, intentional wrongs

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