Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition
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Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition

Edited by Jan M. Smits

Written by leading authorities in their respective fields, the contributions in this accessible book cover and combine not only questions regarding the methodology of comparative law, but also specific areas of law (such as administrative law and criminal law) and specific topics (such as accident compensation and consideration). In addition, the Encyclopedia contains reports on a selected set of countries’ legal systems and, as a whole, presents an overview of the current state of affairs.
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Chapter 24: Damages (in tort)*

Siewert D. Lindenbergh


A comparative study of the law concerning damages is like a comparison of fruits from different trees: one cannot understand the true nature of the fruit without studying the tree that it originates from. For this reason, comparative studies of the law of damages are hampered by the very nature of the differences between the three major European legal families – the English, the French and the German systems being the most representative examples – regarding the sources of damages. This concerns the differences in approach of delictual and contractual liability as well as the differences in approach of varying forms of delictual liability (various heads of tortious liability), each possibly or actually having their own regime for damages. In this respect three major systems can be found (Zweigert and Kötz, 1996). In English law, the regime regarding damages is dependent upon the nature of a variety of specific torts, and, in the absence of a code, is to be found in case law as well as in the literature (McGregor, 2010; Tettenborn et al., 2010).

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