‘Torts That Heal Words That Wound’

Tasnim Motala, ‘Words Still Wound: IIED and Evolving Attitudes toward Racist Speech’, 56 Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review 115 (2021). Among legal academics, the intentional infliction of emotional distress tort is having a moment. Long derided as the ‘redheaded stepchild’ of personal injury law, IIED is being rediscovered by scholars seeking new interventions against social ills like workplace oppression and ethnoviolence. Tasnim Motala is the latest writer to explore the promise of the IIED tort, this time as a response to racist speech. In ‘Words Still Wound: IIED and Evolving Attitudes toward Racist Speech’, Motala makes three crucial moves: she concretizes the injury of racial insult; she documents the limits of legislative efforts to stigmatize and deter this speech; and she revisits the intellectual history of the tort to suggest its capacity to redress speech-inflicted wounds … (more)

[Cristina Tilley, JOTWELL, 27 September]

First posted 2021-09-28 12:00:07

Leave a Reply