Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Mauro Bussani and Anthony J. Sebok
Chapter 1: Introduction to comparative tort law: Global perspectives
A book with the title ‘Comparative Tort Law: Global Perspectives’ must be carefully explained to its readers so as to avoid certain confusions. Let us start by making clear what the book is not. Although the title might suggest otherwise, this book is not about international tort law or transnational tort law. This book has no reductive or globalizing ambitions. The purpose of the book is decidedly not to resemble a digest or an encyclopedia. A book about the tort law of the entire world would be an impossible task – the recently completed Comparative Studies in the Development of the Law of Torts in Europe published by Cambridge University Press is nine volumes and it presents only part of the tort law of one legal family, Europe. Finally, this book is not intended to summarize the vast body of scholarship that covers tort law around the globe, nor does it offer a normative tort theory rooted in the history of any one (or all) family/families of tort law. This book, which is one volume and twenty essays (including this introduction), has one specific purpose, for which, we hope, its structure is well suited. The purpose is to provide a framework for reflection and analysis about the current state of tort law and its recent developments in what has been conventionally called ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ tort systems.