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Kathleen Gutman

This chapter surveys the basic contours of the non-contractual liability of the European Union (EU or Union) in light of recent jurisprudential and institutional developments. It is divided into three main sections. In the first, the nature and scope of Union non-contractual liability is discussed, with emphasis put on the importance of this concept for delineating the jurisdiction of the Union courts and the application to claims involving potential Union liability in the absence of unlawful acts and conduct. In the second section, the changes brought by the Lisbon Treaty that impact Union non-contractual liability are evaluated, which relate to the former pillars, the parties and the Charter. In the third section, the substantive conditions to engage Union non-contractual liability, concerning the existence of a sufficiently serious breach of a rule of EU law that is intended to confer rights on individuals, the occurrence of damage and the causal link, are examined. Through this analysis, the author argues that although there may be a schism between the principle and practice of Union non-contractual liability, certain recent developments in the case law hold promise for helping to ensure that Union non-contractual liability constitutes a meaningful route for claimants and for advancing the research agenda of EU tort law.