After successfully completing this course students should:
- Have a thorough knowledge of the general principles of tort law, and the various choices that are made in specific national systems of tort law;
- Be able to explain the place of tort law within the field of private law, in particular compared to property law, contract law and other sources of obligations (such as the law of restitution or unjustified enrichment).
- Have a clear understanding of different national approaches to tort law (in particular English, French, German law);
- Be able to determine the main structure of tort law in any jurisdiction, and find relevant legal materials pertaining to that jurisdiction.
- Be able to apply rules of tort law in a specific problem case and offer a reasoned opinion on the legal position of the parties involved.
- Be capable of a brief comparative analysis of topics within tort law;
- Have a working knowledge of supranational influences to tort law, in particular the impact of European Union law, and the European Convention on Human Rights, and the case law of related judicial bodies).
Theme and approach|
Tort law is one of the liveliest areas of private law, if not of the whole law. It concerns situations in which one or more persons suffer a loss because of the wrongful conduct of another. Tort law offers conditions and procedures that determine whether and how the other should be made liable for that loss. As such, it is the area of law that seeks to resolve conflicts between the protection of legally relevant interests of persons and the freedom of action of persons. Within this very general description, a large number of issues arises, of which this course aims to cover the most pertinent ones.
This course is a compulsory first-year course in the Bachelor Global Law. It will build upon your previous courses in the curriculum (e.g. Introduction to Global Law I) and lay the ground for courses in the second and third year of the programme (e.g. Obligations and Contract Law I, Property law, Civil Procedure and Global Dispute Resolution, and Conflict of Laws). It also has connections with the courses of Introduction to Global Law II and Methods and Techniques of Legal Research, which are taught in parallel.
In order to feed its global approach, this course will draw mostly on materials from English, French, German and US law, together with materials from EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and European-level unification efforts (Principles of European Tort Law, Draft Common Frame of Reference (Book VI) and others).
The course will also present you with three perspectives on tort law: (i) an internal (deontic) perspective; (ii) a comparative perspective; and (iii) an external (contextual) perspective. In the first, a deontic approach is taken to discuss a number of core fundamental legal principles such as justice, fairness, ethical conduct (good faith and reasonableness), on which tort law is based. These principles will be discussed with reference to different national and international materials, thus drawing in the second perspective. Third, tort law will be put in context, i.e. within the broader set of mechanisms to ascertain compensation, deterrence, satisfaction and civil recourse, including indemnification via public funds and insurance (first- and third-party). You will also be introduced to studies from the fields of law & economics and sociology to get a basic understanding of tort law as a regulatory tool for achieve public policy goals.
Type of instructions
Interactive lectures and tutorials
Class attendance is mandatory except for students retaking the course.
Type of exam
Written examination. Students should consult the syllabus for important details.
|Written test opportunities|
|Written test opportunities (HIST)|
|Schriftelijk / Written||EXAM_01||SM 2||1||26-05-2021|
|Schriftelijk / Written||EXAM_01||SM 2||2||24-06-2021||Required materials|
|C.C. van Dam, European Tort Law, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2013. NO EBOOK - PAPERBACK ONLY!|
|Title||:||European Tort Law|
|Author||:||Van Dam, Cees|
|S. Hardt & N. Kornet (eds.), The Maastricht Collection: Selected National, European and International Provisions from Public and Private Law, 6th ed., Groningen (Europa Law Publishing) 2019, volume IV: Comparative Private Law.|
|Title||:||The Maastricht Collection, volume IV: Comparative Private Law|
|Author||:||Hardt, S. Kornet, N.|
|Publisher||:||Europa Law Publishing|
|Reader Introduction to Global Tort Law 2019-2020, available through Canvas.|