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Altruism in Private LawLiability for Nonfeasance and Negotiorum Gestio$
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Jeroen Kortmann

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280056.001.0001

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Theoretical Arguments against Granting a Remedy to the Intervener

Theoretical Arguments against Granting a Remedy to the Intervener

(p.84) 8 Theoretical Arguments against Granting a Remedy to the Intervener
Altruism in Private Law

Jeroen Kortmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the theoretical arguments against granting a remedy to the intervener. Here, one can distinguish the following main arguments against the imposition of a duty to reward or remunerate the good Samaritan or even to merely reimburse his expenses: granting a claim would lead to ‘ruinous litigation’, it would lead to ‘the overthrow of personal rights and civil freedom’, and it would do ‘violence to some of the kindest and best effusions of the heart’. This chapter discusses each of these arguments separately. In addition, it also investigates whether a change in the law might lead to abuse by meddlesome interveners looking to make a profit. Furthermore, if justice requires the introduction of a general right, the mere possibility of abuse should not be enough to reverse it. There are many existing doctrines that are open to abuse.

Keywords:   remedy, intervener, Samaritan, ruinous litigation, doctrines

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