How tort law empowers

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The following realization has begun to dominate contemporary tort theory: in order to understand tort law, theorists in nsf (ulso focus on the legal power that tort law vests in tort victims to /)ursue (1 re,ned', not onl'i on the iinjtlicatioiis o/ holding tort/ea .sois liable br such a remedy. This insight has lead some oJ the leading theorists 0/tort law - often writing under the banner of 'civil recourse theory - to suggest that tort law empowers tort victims to pursue and even to obtain redress floin tort/easors. This view has even been expanded to describe private law in general. Yet, close scrutiny reveals that tort law mostly (toes not vest ii? tort victims (1 legal power over the rig/its o/ tort/easors. The same is most likely true br private law more broadly. I'or the sake both o/ descriptive accuracy and o/ realizing its prescriptive J)oteiltial, civil recourse theory is best amen(led to view the legal rights and powei:c of tort victims, as well as the realities of civil litigation, more soberly and with mo,'e conceptual accurary. Thi,s article endorses and grounds the more modest - (1)1(1 1 think, orthodox - view on how tort law and private law more broadly empower mctims of civil wrongs, Adopting this view makes civil recourse theomy true yet less novel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)99-132
Number of pages34
JournalUniversity of Toronto Law Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Civil recourse
  • Jitrispritdeiice
  • Legal theoiy
  • Power
  • Private law
  • Tort

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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