Comparative Tort Law: Principles and Practice

Richard Wright
The lectures and discussion in this course will compare the role, structure, and operation of the tort liability system in the United States and other common law and civil law countries.  We will consider the interplay between tort liability and other parts of the legal system, such as criminal law, contract law, regulations, and social and private insurance, that also seek to prevent, compensate and/or assign accountability for injuries to persons and property.  With respect to the tort liability system itself, we will focus on basic goals, principles and doctrines as well as procedures, costs, trial structure, the role of various participants (litigants, lawyers, judges, juries, experts), remedies, and other aspects of the system's practical operation.  We will also consider the relevant sources of law and the processes involved in determining, interpreting and applying the law.  The course should provide a broad understanding of the nature and role of tort law in particular, the underlying basic principles of legal obligation, and the nature of legal reasoning.