This awe-inspiring book is the first of a two volume treatise on the law of non-contractual obligations. The result of a unique attempt to discover the common elements of the law of torts of all the member states of the European Union, it is founded on the belief that the approximation of European laws should not be left to the directives and regulations of Brussels alone. The first task of such a project is to determine to what extent a jus commune
europaeum already exists. To this end, von Bar has undertaken a thorough, detailed and extensive analysis of the relevant court rulings and academic writings of all the jurisdictions of the European Union to distill a European common law of torts. The insights gained from the comparative analysis also offer a
guidance to greater harmonisation in the future. The material covered in volume one includes: the areas of application of tort law and its boundaries with contract, property, criminal and constitutional law; the elements of liability under the general clauses of the European civil codes and the more specific torts of the common law. Further topics include: strict liability, liability for other persons, animals and premises; multiple tortfeasors; and an account of
European Union and Council of Europe attempts to harmonise the less coherent areas of tort law. Von Bar's book is destined to become a landmark in the area of comparative law in general, and comparative torts in particular. From the author's preface
The attempt undertaken here to draw up a system of a common European law of torts is an orthodox treatise on the non-contractual law of obligations. This book displays distinctive features only in so far as its material stems from all the laws of tort within the European Union. It seemed possible to understand and portray each tort law as merely a national manifestation of a single discipline. For, although different legal practices which have each grown naturally in
their own environment do occasionally lead to different results, they can be dealt with in the same way as a single legal system in which a lawyer has to find his way through a variety of opinions. The person who looks, not only at his own, but also surrounding laws, broadens the range of possible
debate. In writing about different laws he undertakes work fundamentally no different from that on his own legal system, so long as the systems are equal in their basic values, in the quality of their legal method, and have continuously learned from each other. This is the case in the countries of the European Union, and it is therefore possible to condense their different national laws to a common European law of torts (or delict). To try to understand its structures does not mean
leaving distinctive features of individual nations out of consideration. Without an understanding of their effectiveness and their elegance, the treasure of judicial knowledge, which distinguishes European private law, will not be appreciated. However, to think in a European fashion firstly means stressing
the common characteristics, secondly, learning to understand national laws as reactions to developments in neighbouring countries, and thirdly, tackling historical coincidences and rough edges European politics is not our primary concern, and the question whether reflections on common European private law can flow into a general law, that is to say into an extensive unification of law in the fashion of a Civil Code, is altogether a cura posterior. The challenge
is to identify how the sixteen systems actually function, not how they would function were they united in one system. we are portraying here, not a single national law in comparison with other laws, rather we have chosen from the start a European standpoint; European meaning the states of the European
`This book will be an invaluable resource for further research and analysis and is more than impressive in scope and depth. the book is very well written/translated, both instructive and lucid. highly recommended to its potential readers.'
European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3, 2002
`The author's discussion of the relationship of tort law with other areas of law to properly appreciate the full range of the field , is most attractive and innovative.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif.L.Rev. 2000-2.
`Part VI is a particularly brilliant chapter dealing with the relationship between constitutional law and the law of tort in areas other than State liability.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif. L. Rev. 2000-2.
`The comparison undertaken in this treatise is not between a given national law the laws of other countries. In fact, it is the European perspective that serves as the starting point of comparison. A very interesting point is also that the comparison is not confined to the major systems but includes legal systems that are often ignore, such as Greece, Luxembourg and Spain, lest their rich contribution to the growth of the law of torts remain obscure.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif.L.Rev.2000-2.
`The insights offered by the author into the complexities of comparative legal research, the astute mix of rationality and personal involvement make this a volume of immese potential value to those interested in and convinced of the merits of the comparative approach to the study of legal systems.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif.L.Rev. 2000-2.
`a highly rewarding and essential contribution to legal literature. It offers the indispensable groundwork which may prove invaluable in achieving a common law of torts for Europe which the author believes could be used also to protect the fundamental rights of individuals and as enshrined in constitutional law.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif.L.Rev. 2000-2
`Not the least of the book's merits is that it does not leave the reader in any doubt as to how a particular issue of tort is treated in a particular country. The author guides his readers through the maze of rules and practices in the sixteen countries with a meticulous eye for detail.'
Sathya Narayan, Unif.L.Rev. 2000-2
`a highly challenging book ... written in clear, precise and functional style, which suffers little from the fact that this is the English translation of a German original ... This book combines passion with calm authority, profundity and concision with utmost condensation, and rock solidity with a still lofty hope for a common law of torts throughout the EU.'
Gerhard Dannemann, Law Quarterly Review, October 1999
`The insights offered by the author into the complexities of comparative legal research, the astute mix of rationality and personal involvement make this a volume of immense potential value to those interested in and convinced of the merits of the comaparative approach to the study of legal systems.'
Sathya Narayan, Professor of Law and Joint Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at ILS Law College in Pune, India; Unified Law Review Volume 2 2000
Foreword by Lord Goff of Chieveley
Part 1. Foundations
Part 2. Continental Europe's Codified Law of Delict
Part 3. The Scandinavian Liability Laws and the Common Law of Torts
Part 4. Unification and Approximation of the Law of Delict within the European Union
Part 5. The Law of Delict in the Context of Private Law
Part 6. The Law of Delict, Constitutional and Criminal Law