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French LawA Comparative Approach$
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Eva Steiner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790884

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790884.001.0001

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The Law of Tort

The Law of Tort

(p.250) 14 The Law of Tort
French Law

Eva Steiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the French law of tort. Although French law takes a broad approach to civil liability, when looking more closely at the way in which French judges have dealt with claims in tort, it becomes apparent that the need to avoid extending the scope of civil liability to an unlimited extent has also been present in French law. Indeed, in order to achieve desirable results, French judges have on many occasions used their discretion to interpret restrictively the elastic concepts of fault, damage, and causation. Hence, they end up dismissing claims which, for policy reasons, would have created unjust results or would have opened the gates to a flood of new claims. Thus, even though French judges do not admit to it openly in their judgments, they are influenced as regards the matter of deciding the limits of liability by general policy considerations, especially the ‘floodgates arguments’ which their English counterparts also readily understand.

Keywords:   tort, law of tort, civil liability, recoverable loss, vicarious liability, causation

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