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The Tortious Liability of Statutory Bodies

A Comparative and Economic Analysis of Five Cases

By: Basil S Markesinis, Jean-Bernard Auby, Dagmar Coester-Waltjen, Simon Deakin
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Published: 01-11-1999
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 184
ISBN: 9781841131245
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP : £70.00

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About The Tortious Liability of Statutory Bodies

In a number of important decisions such as Stovin v. Wise,X v. Bedfordshire, Barrett v. Enfield London Borough Council and others, English courts have been forced to grapple with the important issue of tortious liability of statutory bodies. Following the Hill decision, they opted for a wide non-liability rule on a variety of policy and economic efficiency grounds. Yet many of their arguments have been considered and rejected by both German and French courts when deciding factually equivalent situations.

This study analyses five leading English cases in a comparative and economic way and questions the validity of their assumptions as well as their arguments in the light of the recent important decision of the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights in Osman v. UK.

This thought-provoking book, written by two English academics from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, in collaboration with two leading authorities from the Universities of Paris and Munich, should provide food for thought for judges, practitioners, academics and students for years to come. This book will be essential reading for scholars and practitioners interested in public law, human rights, comparative methodology, and tort law.

Table Of Contents

1. A First Look at the Five Cases and Problems they Raise
2. How Different Courts have Handled these Cases
3. A Critique of the English Reasons
4. Comparative Conclusions


“Le sujet, d'une grande importance pratique presente egalement un vif interet theofique; il a meme conduit les auteurs a s'interroger sur la compatibilite - ou plutot l'incompatibilite - de ces decisions anglaises avec le Human Rights Act.” –  Benedicte Fauvarque-Cosson, Revue Internationale de droit Compare

“Our judges would do well to read this illuminating study, and take to heart the words of Lord Bingham, the only English judge who would have allowed the Newham case to go ahead. It would require very potent considerations of public policy to override the rule of public policy which has first claim on the loyalty of law: that wrongs should be remedied.” –  Clare Dyer, The Guardian

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