Strict liability and the aims of Tort Law: a doctrinal, comparative, and normative study of strict liability regimes

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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In the law of torts (or “civil liability”), a person can be held liable in certain circumstances even if he or she cannot be said to have been at fault for the damage the victim suffered. The term of art for this form of liability is strict liability. This PhD thesis contributes to the comparative law and legal-theoretical debates around strict liability. After comparing two jurisdictions with opposite approaches to strict liability (France and England), and placing the comparisons within a normative framework based in neo-Aristotelian moral theory, the research argues that when legal systems chose for strict liability they are not infringing on any precepts of corrective justice. Instead, by choosing strict liability over fault-based liability, legal systems implicitly opt for a different distribution of primary rights and duties, and therefore only considerations of distributive justice can justify such a choice.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Smits, Jan, Supervisor
  • Moréteau, Olivier , Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Dec 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • strict liability
  • tort law
  • accidents
  • compensation
  • comparative law
  • neo-Aristotelian theory

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