Jan Smits, ‘Does the Law of Delict Have a Future? On Neuroscience and Liability’

‘Neurolaw’ is rapidly becoming one of the most fascinating fields at the intersection of law and science. The insights that neuroscientists provide us with on the functioning of the human brain are increasingly important to the law. The main reason for this is that the law is full of presumptions about how and why people act. These presumptions are increasingly questioned by neuroscientists, giving rise to what some have termed a ‘neuro-revolution’ in our thinking about the law. However, it is far from clear what the exact impact of neuro-scientific insights has to be. This contribution considers what the consequences may be for the law of delict. It is argued that neurolaw will not fundamentally change tort law because of the intrinsically normative approach of the law. However, this does not mean that neuro-scientific findings cannot be relevant in dealing with some specific questions in the law of delict. These questions are discussed.

Smits, Jan M, Does the Law of Delict Have a Future? On Neuroscience and Liability (February 17, 2015). Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No 2015/1.

First posted 2015-02-18 07:25:00

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