#6 Tort Law

There are 7.35 billion people on this planet. We all have to live together and arrange our lives in a way that others can live theirs. But what if something goes wrong? Your friend borrows your phone and it happens: It falls to the ground. Who must compensate your damage?

In our sixth episode we dig deeper into the private law. Tort law jumps in where contract law can not help: When you suffer a wrong but the wrongdoer is someone you do not have any legal relationship with.

Gijs van Dijck is Full Professor of Private Law at Maastricht University and joined its faculty of Law in September 2016. His work evolves around empirical legal research in fields such as tort law and insolvency law. He was a visiting scholar at Standford Law School and KU Leuven. Next to his professorship Gijs is co-director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute.

We have tried our best to not use too many technical terms. If you have trouble understanding certain concepts, you may consider listening to our “What is Law?” and “State-Caused Harm” episodes first.

Gijs and I discuss

  • where tort law originates from,
  • what differentiates it from contract and criminal law,
  • why receiving compensation for damages is an important aspect of society,
  • what grounds there are to be hold liable,
  • climate change and government responsibilities,
  • what counts as a tort in the first place,
  • why the United States seems to be the odd one out,
  • what the difference is between punitive and compensatory damages,
  • that you can sue your doctor for malpractise, and
  • much more.

If you liked this episode, subscribe here to the podcast.

Benedikt Schmitz
Gijs van Dijck
Full Professor

Click here for legal information.