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 20: Tort law in Latin America

Marco de Morpurgo

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


The purpose of this chapter is to offer a broad comparative picture on the law of torts in the legal systems of Latin America. Latin America represents a vast and very diverse geographical region, comprising more than twenty separate jurisdictions, each of which has its own tort regime, with its provisions, case law and scholarly traditions. This makes it perhaps impossible to give a full account of all tort law regimes that are in place in Latin America, unless it be made in such a superficial way as to be of no or little scholarly interest in this context. By contrast, this chapter intends to contribute to the understanding of Latin American tort law by showing how this area of the law untangles in the region. Taking a historical and comparative perspective, and deliberately overlooking the details of the individual tort systems, the chapter tries to portray Latin American tort law in its macro-dimensions, identifying common features and particularities that have led to relatively homogeneous systems of tort law across the Latin American region, which nevertheless remain separate and marked by important differences. Therefore, with the necessary degree of generalization, the chapter will first shed light (in Section 3) on the foundations of tort liability in Latin America. The central part of the analysis is located in Sections 4 and 5, which aim to explain what mechanisms and (macro)forces steer the evolution of tort law in Latin America.

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