Comparative Tort Law

Comparative Tort Law

Global Perspectives

Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series

Edited by Mauro Bussani and Anthony J. Sebok

Comparative Tort Law: Global Perspectives provides a framework for analyzing and understanding the current state of tort law in most of the world's legal systems. The book examines tort law theories, rules and cultures. It looks at general issues at play throughout the globe, such as causation, economic and non-economic damages, product and professional liability, as well as the relationship between tort law and crime, insurance, and public welfare schemes. The book also provides insightful case studies by analyzing specific features of selected tort systems in Europe, USA, Latin America, East Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Chapter 8: Alternative compensation schemes from a comparative perspective

Daniel Jutras

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, law of obligations


There is a good argument that this chapter is not about comparative tort law. The preceding chapters highlight the key features of tort law as a manifestation of corrective justice and private law reasoning. They set out the conditions under which a person who suffers a loss may claim before an ordinary court against the author of his misfortune, for compensation of the harm caused by the defendant or imputable to him. Conversely, the present chapter considers the alter ego of this model or, to be more specific, the different logic and structure of compensation for accidental harm that has emerged over the past 125 years, on the margins of the main event of tort law as corrective justice. It is fair to say that these margins are very crowded. Alternative schemes of compensation are found in almost every country around the world. They come in all shapes and sizes – the basic structure of tort law has been set aside for some types of accidental injury in a broad range of circumstances. In all of their diversity, these regimes are defined in opposition to tort law and its fundamental characteristics. The present chapter thus entails a comparative exploration of ‘alternative’ or ‘other’ schemes of compensation. Because ‘otherness’ or what-is-not-tort-law is arguably very broad, this exploration cannot proceed further without some clarification of its conceptual boundaries.

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