The Morality of Tort Law—Questions and Answers


in The Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780198265795
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682971 | DOI:
The Morality of Tort Law—Questions and Answers

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H.L.A. Hart was writing about punishment. In his view, those who are puzzled about the justification of punishment should begin by disentangling a number of questions about the criminal process. Moreover, once one sees that a single aim will not justify every aspect of the system, one should not replace the single aim by a compound aim. One should not, for example, say that the justification of punishment is a mixture of deterrence, retribution, reform, and denunciation. According to Hart, at least six questions about punishment need to be answered separately. Hart meant his remark to apply to institutions other than criminal law, and it can certainly be applied to tort law. The theory of tort law is now the subject of a sophisticated debate, especially in North America. This chapter tries to unravel some of the questions and to suggest some answers.

Keywords: Hart; punishment; justification; criminal process; tort law; deterrence; retribution; reform; denunciation; criminal law

Chapter.  11249 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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