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A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations$
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David Ibbetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198764113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.001.0001

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9. The Law of Torts in the Nineteenth Century: The Rise of the Tort of Negligence

9. The Law of Torts in the Nineteenth Century: The Rise of the Tort of Negligence

Chapter:
(p.169) 9. The Law of Torts in the Nineteenth Century: The Rise of the Tort of Negligence
Source:
A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations
Author(s):

D. J. IBBETSON

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.003.0010

This chapter shows how the law of torts at the start of the 19th century was still recognizably medieval. It was characterized by the division between the action of trespass and the action on the case, the latter of which was subdivided into a number of nominate forms and a large residuary group linked together by nothing stronger than that the defendant was alleged to have caused loss to the plaintiff. In the 19th century, a substantial part of this residuary group coalesced as the tort of negligence. This brought about a wholesale realignment of the law of torts, as this tort, defined by the reference to the quality of the defendant's conduct, cut across the previous categorization of torts.

Keywords:   law of torts, trespass, action on the case, tort of negligence

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