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European Tort Law$
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Cees van Dam

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672264.001.0001

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(p.73) 4 Germany
European Tort Law

Cees Van Dam

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes German tort law, which is characterized by its systematic approach and many subtle distinctions. The most notable feature of German tort law may be the judge-made rules needed to fill the lacunae in the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB, Civil Code) of 1900, a striking example of which is the creation of the so-called Verkehrspfl ichten in the early twentieth century. These are safety duties based on negligence, and generally require a very high level of care. The proper place for these Verkehrspflichten 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.

Keywords:   German tort law, Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, civil code, Verkehrspfl ichten, safety duties, negligence, judge-made rules, fault liability, stricter liability

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