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Anomalies in Tort Law: A Cause for Concern?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Modern Law Review
Issue number4
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)872-899
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/11/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In case law, and in the associated academic literature, numerous judges and jurists have labelled parts of tort law ‘anomalies’. This description – with its pejorative overtones – seemingly highlights a cause for concern about the state of the law. Yet closer analysis suggests otherwise. First, commentators mean different things when they speak of anomalies; only some of which provide genuine reasons for unease. Secondly, all but two of the aspects of tort law considered in this article that have been described as anomalous turn out to be no such thing. Finally, even those two remaining parts of tort law that have been labelled anomalies can be defended because (1) they have a great deal going for them in practical terms, and (2) the internal coherence of tort law (which they are thought to undermine) is not the unqualified good it is widely supposed to be.