‘What’s Missing in New Zealand?’

David Enoch, Tort Liability and Taking Responsibility in Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts (John Oberdiek ed, 2014). ‘What’s missing in New Zealand?’ That’s the question David Enoch poses in his thought-provoking essay, Tort Liability and Taking Responsibility. As every tort scholar knows, New Zealand has abandoned tort law, at least for injuries caused by accidents. Instead of filing a tort suit, a person injured in an accident files a claim with the Accident Compensation Corporation, which quickly determines whether she suffered a qualifying injury and, if so, provides compensation for it. The money paid out is funded through levies on risk-generating activities. So the New Zealand scheme provides compensation and (at least some) deterrence. It also puts the costs of accidents on the people who risk causing them. And it does all that at a lower cost than maintaining a system of private lawsuits, like tort. That sounds pretty good to Enoch — so good, in fact, that he wonders what is to be said for tort law in face of the New Zealand alternative … (more)

[Scott Hershovitz, JOTWELL, 1 July]

First posted 2015-07-01 11:53:40

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