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Tort Law Through TIme and Culture: Themes of Economic Efficiency
  • M Stuart Madden

Hellenic philosophers assessed the goals of society as: (1) the protection of persons and property from wrongful harm; (2) protection of the individual’s means of survival and prosperity; (3) discouragement of self-aggrandizement to the detriment of others; and (4) elevation of individual knowledge that would carry forward and perfect such principles.

Roman law was replete with proscriptions against forced taking and unjust enrichment, and included rules for ex ante contract-based resolution of potential disagreement. Customary law perpetuated these efficient economic tenets within the Western World and beyond.

The common law, in turn, has nurtured many of the same ends. From the translation of the negligence formula of Judge Learned Hand into a basic efficiency model to the increasing number of judicial opinions that rely explicitly upon economic analysis, efficiency themes enjoy a conspicuous place in modern tort analysis.

Publication Date
M. Stuart Madden
Cambridge University Press
Publisher Statement
Adapted from original Cambridge University Press publication. Reprinted with permission.
Citation Information
M Stuart Madden. "Tort Law Through TIme and Culture: Themes of Economic Efficiency" New York CambridgeEXPLORING TORT LAW (2005)
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