Tort Law and Economic Interests

Tort Law and Economic Interests

Tort Law and Economic Interests

Tort Law and Economic Interests


This is a book about the way in which the law of tort protects financial assets such as money, property and contracts. It is not a conventional textbook, either in content or arrangement, and the analysis goes well beyond standard undergraduate texts. Many of the issues receive very little attention in the standard texts. This is a thoroughly revised and rewritten new edition which builds on the critical acclaim achieved by the first edition.


In his review of the first edition of the book ( (1992) 12 OJLS 558) John Fleming said that for 'tort scholars accustomed to view the subject primarily through the lens of personal injuries, getting into [the] book is an experience somewhat like Alice's crossing through the Looking Glass'. I was very glad of this reaction because my prime aim in originally writing this book was to provide a radically fresh perspective on the subject. I am very grateful to Richard Hart of OUP for giving me the opportunity to update and improve upon my first attempt.

Fleming also thought that the book was overwhelmingly detailed and that it lacked an overarching theory to explain what was going on in Wonderland. I have not significantly reduced the amount of detail, although I have pruned the footnotes significantly. I still feel that in order to justify my approach to the subject I need to do more than rearrange and supplement the table of contents of the traditional tort text. I also need to show how the new organization is rooted in the legal materials and this requires that certain topics be dealt with in some detail. Many others which are discussed at length in most tort books are here either passed over lightly or totally ignored. In this edition I have, however, tried to provide rather more signposts and to make more explicit the conclusions which I believe my analysis supports and the insights which I think my approach yields. This should enable readers to pass over details in which they are not interested without losing the main thread of the analysis. As for an overarching theory, I have nailed my colours to the mast in the conclusion to Chapter 10--I do not believe that there is such a theory to explain this or any other large area of the law.

There have been very many relevant changes in common and statute law in the past five years or so, and I hope that I have identified all the important ones. Some sections of the book have been radically rewritten, but the basic structure is unchanged. Jane Stapleton read the entire manuscript of this edition and made many fundamental and penetrating comments and criticisms which have helped me make various minor and some very major improvements. The usual caveats apply. The typescript was substantially completed in mid-August 1995.

Oxford, August 1995 P.F.C.

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