Edited by Roger Halson and David Campbell
Chapter 24: Tort law and the tort system: from vindictiveness to vindication
This chapter examines what is usually presented as two conflicting ways of understanding tort law: what might be described as systematic analysis of legal doctrine on the one hand and the pragmatic investigation of the law as it operates in the wider world on the other. It argues that these ways of understanding tort law are not in fact opposed and that the conflict between these approaches that exists in academia is largely futile. However, it also maintains that academics are sometimes insufficiently careful in delineating the scope of their investigations, so that it at least seems as if they are making claims that their evidence does not entitle them to make and that, in reality, are inconsistent with quite obvious matters of fact. The chapter further argues that each side in this apparent conflict has a great deal to learn from the other.
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