MAURO BUSSANI AND VERNON VALENTINE PALMER
The question of the recoverability of pure economic loss is a generic question for all legal systems in Europe. As we pointed out earlier, it is not just a civil law vs. common law issue. Civil law countries are found amongst the liberal, pragmatic and conservative regimes of Europe, and thus to the extent that Europe is divided, the civil law countries are themselves divided, not from the common law, but along with the common law. An important question is how to understand the various differences and similarities between these systems, and whether there is any common core of agreement on this question, but this will have little to to with the ‘legal families’ in which they happen to be placed.
Clearly, it is more difficult to find a common set of principles or a common set of methods when we limit our horizons to the field of tort alone. Comparisons focused solely upon tort rules and structures have a tendency to highlight (to exaggerate?) the structural and technical diversities, rather than commonalities between these systems. Anyone who collects general impressions through the monocle of delict will of course notice that liberal regimes permit recovery far more frequently than conservative regimes (e.g. France: seventeen recoveries, Belgium: thirteen compared to Sweden: one and Portugal: seven).
Methodologically speaking, the tort scene strikes us as diverse and unsettled. Our research reveals that four principal methodologies dominate the European landscape, and although some countries resort to more than one of these methods (thus adding to the complexity) generally each has one characteristic means of dealing with the issue