This chapter assesses the prospects for a European ius commune — a common European law — particularly in the area of tort law. The idea of a European ius commune based on the fundamentals of Roman law dates back to medieval times but did not survive the rise of the national States. When the drawbacks of excessive nationalism became apparent after the two World Wars, increasing European cooperation endorsed the idea of a revival of a European ius commune. The chapter compares tort law systems on the level of rules (fault and strict liability rules) as well as the differences between codification and common law, and the pivotal role of the courts in developing tort law. A comparison is also made on the level of the differences behind the rules, that is, legal-cultural differences, differences in policy approach, and differences in the role of rights. The positions of the European Commission and European Parliament are examined, followed by discussions of the case for harmonization and codification, and an agenda for further research.
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