Tort law is often regarded as the clearest example of traditional common law reasoning. Yet, in the past 40 years, the common law of England and Wales has been subject to European influences as a result of the introduction of the European Communities Act 1972 and, more recently, the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 in October 2000. EU Directives have led to changes to the law relating to product liability, health and safety in the workplace, and defamation, while Francovich liability introduces a new tort imposing State liability for breach of EU law. The 1998 Act has led to developments in privacy law and made the courts reconsider their approach to public authority liability and freedom of expression in defamation law.
This book explores how English tort law has changed as a result of Europeanisation - broadly defined as the influence of European Union and European human rights law. It also analyses how this influence has impacted on traditional common law reasoning. Has Europeanisation led to changes to the common law legal tradition or has the latter proved more resistant to change than might have been expected?