The Purpose of Tort Law in the Irish Legal System

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In this essay I will endeavour to outline what the intended purpose of tort law is in the Irish legal system and how it has come about over centuries. I will include a brief outline of the meaning of tort law and the different kinds of Tort, I will also include a brief summary of the sister laws of tort, that being criminal and contract law. The word tort is the equivalent of the French word that means ‘wrong’. This word ‘tort’ was derived from the Latin word ‘tortum’, translated this means twisted, crooked or wrong. The term ‘tort’ was first introduced into English law by the Normans. It is widely understood to mean the law of civil liability for wrongfully inflicted injury. This is the literal translation of the word tort but it has many different meanings and purposes in the law and there are many different kinds of torts or ‘wrongs’. Over the years tort scholars have been divided over what would seem a simple question, what is tort law intended for? The leading answer to this question seems to be that tort law promotes efficient behaviour in society by giving people incentives to take account of costs they impose on others. In other words, tort law can be seen as a means in which an individual who has wronged another has a duty to repair or redress the losses caused by their actions. Another answer that has been put forward to the question of what tort law is intended for is that tort law aims for corrective justice and enforcing moral responsibility on wrongdoers. This is one of the longest standing theories of the purpose of tort law in that tort law has a role in bringing wrongdoers to compensate those they have injured or who have suffered by their actions. Over the years these two theories of the intended purpose of to... ... middle of paper ... ...Problem-Solving Behaviour and Theories of Tort Liability’, [1985], 73 Cal. L. Rev. 677 Malone W. S., ‘ Ruminations on the Role of Fault in the History of the Common Law of Tort’, [1970], Louisiana Law Review Medieval Sourcebook: The Anglo-Saxon Dooms, Fordham University, 560-975 Perry, Ronen, ‘The Role of Retributive Justice in the Common Law of Torts: A Descriptive Theory’, [2006] 73 Tenn. L. Rev. 177 Posner, Richard A., ‘Economic Analysis of Law’ (2nd ed. 1977) Simmons K. W., ‘The Crime/Tort Distinction: Legal Doctrine and Normative Perspectives’, [2007], Widener Law Review. McMahon, Bryan M. E., and Binchy, William, ‘A Case Book on the Irish Law of Torts’, [2005], Butterworth Ireland Wells, Catherine P., ‘Tort Law as Corrective Justice: A Pragmatic Justification for Jury Adjudication’, [1990], Boston College Law School

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