Tort journal; and unjust enrichment

Cover of Journal, via publishers siteThe Journal of European Tort Law (also here and here) is officially launched today at the 9th Annual Conference on European Tort Law. A joint-venture between the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (ECTIL) and the Institute for European Tort Law (ETL) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, it is the first law review to be dedicated to the analysis and development of tort law in Europe. The General Editor is Professor Ken Oliphant, and it is published by de Gruyter, Berlin. The editors welcome all queries and submissions. The table of contents of the first volume:

  • Helmut Koziol & Ken Oliphant Preface (2010) 1 JETL 1
  • Lord Bingham of Cornhill The Uses of Tort (2010) 1 JETL 3
  • Nils Jansen The Concept of Non-Contractual Obligations: Rethinking the Divisions of Tort, Unjustified Enrichment, and Contract Law (2010) 1 JETL 16
  • Vaia Karapanou & Louis Visscher Towards a Better Assessment of Pain and Suffering Damages (2010) 1 JETL 48
  • Michael G Faure & Niels J Philipsen Fees for Claim Settlement in the Field of Personal Injury: Empirical Evidence from the Netherlands (2010) 1 JETL 75
  • Ulrich Magnus Why is US Tort Law so Different? (2010) 1 JETL 102

I am particularly taken by The Concept of Non-Contractual Obligations: Rethinking the Divisions of Tort, Unjustified Enrichment, and Contract Law by Nils Jansen (Professor of Roman and European Private Law and Director of the Institute of Legal History at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster). Abstract:

The article proposes a concept of ‘non-contractual obligations’ as a fundamental legal category for European private law. Non-contractual obligations are an internally coherent part of the law of obligations, and they are fundamentally different from contractual obligations. Unjustified enrichment and tort law should therefore not be treated as independent or opposed types of obligations. A fundamental aspect of this conception is that ‘unjustified enrichment’ should not be misunderstood as a distinctive legal category; rather, it is a reason for liability that is functionally and structurally comparable with concepts such as fault or individual responsibility which apply throughout the legal system as a whole. To clarify the distinction between contractual and non-contractual obligations, the interplay of contractual and non-contractual rules and principles in borderline areas such as precontractual negligence is analysed.

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