#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.

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Podcaster
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avatar Gijs van Dijck
Full Professor

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#4 Contract Law

Unfortunately we have encountered some problems with our audio files after recording. Therefore, especially during the first 5 minutes, the audio quality might not live up to our standards. Please accept my apologies for this!

Did you get a coffee this morning or maybe a sandwich for lunch? Whether or not you were aware of it: You have concluded a contract.

This fourth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk covers the law of contract. Contracts are everywhere: We rent apartments, subscribe to Netflix, and pay the electricity supplier. We also buy coffees, sausage rolls, and drinks.

My guest today is Jan Smits, Full Professor of European Private Law at Maastricht University (UM). He is also the head of the department for private law at UM and director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute. Jan obtained his PhD on “the reliance principle and contractual liability” from Leiden University. Learn more about him on his personal website right here and click here for his new book.

If you haven’t yet listened to our first episode on “What is Law?”, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to Bram Akkermans and me covering the very basics of law.

Jan and I discuss

  • why we live in a contract society,
  • the importance of contracting,
  • common misconceptions,
  • how a contract is formed,
  • why contracts do not have to be written,
  • whether we are always bound by them, and
  • much more.

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

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Podcaster
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avatar Jan Smits
Full Professor

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#XMS The Law to Gift

It’s holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, very often this includes giving presents. For most, gifting is as normal as buying tomatoes in the grocery store. The law however has quite a hard time dealing with it.

My guest for this special Christmas episode is William Bull, Lecturer at Maastricht University. William wrote his PhD on “Optional instruments of the European Union; A Definitional, Normative and Explanatory Study” and studied English and Italian law at the University College London. Currently he is teaching Comparative Contract Law and a Legal Research course.

William and I briefly discuss

  • what an immediate donation is,
  • the Common Law concept of consideration,
  • why you might want to look for a notary, and
  • why gifting isn’t as easy as it seems.

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

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Host
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avatar William Bull
Lecturer

Click here for legal information. This episode also contains the following intellectual property:

Oh, Christmas Tree by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/