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Understanding the Common Law System and Tort of Negligence in England and Wales


The most dominating form of legal system functioning in Europe is the common law system, which is also followed in England and Wales. The common law system is basically the reliance on the binding judgments forwarded by the judges which acts as precedents for future cases which is different from the civil law system. In the English legal system, there aren’t any apparent divisions for the same but it can be demarcated as law concerning the public and the private matters. The tort law primarily applies to civil wrongs among which the vastest is the tort of negligence. Over many judgments followed and established the tort of negligence which has been taken up by the judiciary primarily. However, the primary aim to treat a tort within the private territory and for every wrong, compensation must be allotted.

A misdeed suit empowers the victim to look for a cure from the individual who harmed the individual. In contrast to a criminal case, which is started and overseen by the express, a misdeed suit is indicted by the person in question or the casualty's property (or survivors). If the tort is successful then suit brings about a judgment of risk, instead of a sentence of discipline. Such a judgment ordinarily requires the respondent to remunerate the offended party monetarily. On a basic level, an honor of compensatory harms moves the entirety of the offended party's lawfully cognizable expenses to the respondent. (It is dubious whether misdeed truly satisfies this rule by and by.) On uncommon events, an offended party may likewise be granted correctional harms, which go past what it vital for remuneration. In different cases, an offended party may acquire a directive: a court request keeping the respondent from harming her or from attacking her privileges (maybe innocuously). A case of the previous would grant an offended party (or a class of offended parties) a directive against a contaminating maker.


It is the most natural instinct to link any kind of wrongdoing to tort but its not necessary that all wrong belong to the branch of tort laws despite being private laws since there are other branches of private laws as well. Negligence being the most diverse branch of tort law there are other ivil wrongs as well like battery, slander, assault, defamation etc. Instead of zeroing in on classes of misdeeds, it is more productive to start by conceptualizing wrongdoings regarding the components that an offended party must demonstrate so as to get a cure.

Theories of tort laws

  1. Introduction to English Tort Law,<> accessed on 8th September, 2020.
  2. The conceptual consideration regarding tort law holds a massive importance since it regulates the functioning and creates a comprehensive idea about the construction of civil wrongdoings that fall under the branch of tort law.

    This theory of tort law is primarily formed to help analyze the elements of tort law, analyzing the actual concept behind framing the tort laws along the lines of norms formed substantially and have a structural mechanism that helps in establishing if a wrong has been committed. Along with this, this theory also helps in explaining the relation between the substantive norms that are constructed as well as the elementary structures. The analytical theory along with a broad analysis, helps interpreting the law as well using construction of law as the situation arises. In the case of tort law the suits are brought by the casualty as opposed to by the state and the way that such suits are "respective": casualties (offended parties) sue their putative injurers as opposed to drawing on a typical pool of assets. An example can be drawn from the compensation scheme in action in New Zealand which was considered to an adequate substitute of the branch of tort laws.

    In contrast to the analytical interpretation of tort laws, the normative theory mainly intends to help the laws to have a sufficient justification or bring about reformation within the branch of law. Justificatory speculations expect to furnish misdeed with a standardizing establishing, frequently by guarding the qualities misdeed encapsulates or the objectives it means to accomplish. Regularizing hypotheses try to legitimize or change misdeed law. Reformist speculations look to improve this law, state, by suggesting changes that would align the organization closer with its basic beliefs or would assist it with making a superior showing of accomplishing its objectives.

    Both the theories are functional in a distinctive form as they are not exclusive of each other. The qualification among expository and regularizing speculations isn't selective. Even though the analytical theoretical interpretation does not rely on the normative grounds but the alternative is not the same. Dworkin has put forward that analytical theories are entrenched in the beliefs of normative grounds. Investigative speculations every now and again conjure ideas that are in a general sense regularizing, frequently try to depict misdeed's meaningful standards and auxiliary highlights in their "best light". Even more along these lines, regularizing speculations are consistently at any rate mostly explanatory, since such hypotheses should either give or assume some record of the foundation they look to legitimize or change.

  3. oleman, Jules, Scott Hershovitz, and Gabriel Mendlow, "Theories of the Common Law of Torts", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =
  4. ibid
  5. ibid
  6. We can recognize speculations of misdeed dependent on whether they are instrumental or non-instrumental. The speculations made under the light of instrumentality look at the fundamental concepts of tort law with a notion to remedy the social norms which could relate to the asset’s of an individual and the problem that may arise with its allocation. However, the problems that do arise are not restricted to the theories built or analyzed with respect to finances. This is partially on the grounds that they differ about the further purposes that misdeed serves (or should serve) in distributing costs. A few scholars accept that misdeed points designating costs effectively. Others accept that misdeed points allotting costs decently. The scholars completely relying on the theories of instrumentality is ideologically looking to benefit the societal structures and remedy any situation that may injure any other person. The difference that crops up with the non-instrumental theorists are basically they do not look at tort law as a remedial law that is the end of all societal problems and are not structured to tackle all such private concerns which they compensate by believing that it sufficiently gives the backing of a moral principle or satisfies the political agenda governing a formal framework of law.

    Economic perspective of tort law

    For a long time now, a financial investigation of misdeed law has been ascendant, as opposed to looking over the scope of monetary speculations, it is apparently the prevailing strain of financial examination: ideal discouragement hypothesis. Advocates of this methodology, principally look at the tort law in relation to economics as a method of allotting the expenses of mishaps. Their chief case is that it is ought to be perceived as meaning to limit the aggregate of the expenses of mishaps and the expenses of keeping away from them. Needless to argue that moving expenses is itself exorbitant, financial examination starts with the accompanying inquiry: when is it worth acquiring costs for that effect. The undeniable answer remains that it bodes well to bring about expenses so as to decrease costs just while doing so is itself cost defended: that is, the point at which the expense caused are not exactly the expenses stayed away from. This prompts the notable monetary view that the tor law’s main ideology is to limit the total of the expenses of mishaps and the expenses of keeping away from them alleged, ideal discouragement.

    The economic analysis is done both for the fault as well as strict liability but multiple objections have been raised and advocated by many scholars over the Years. The primary objection dealt with the question of substance as well as the structure that has been established in between the injurer and the victim. It can be noted that it is not entirely necessary for the injurer to assume full liability in all the cases. In Palsgraf v. Long Island Rail Road, Benjamin Cardozo had explored the question of foreseeable risk which should be a primary assistance to decide the substance of a case. However, the economic analysis remains an intrinsic part of understanding the grundnorm of tort laws but we must discuss the non-economic perspective as well.

  7. Weinrib, Ernest J., Correlativity, Personality, and the Emerging Consensus on Corrective Justice (January 1, 2001). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2001, Available at SSRN:
  8. The Economic Structure of Tort Law. By William Landes* and Richard A. Posner.** Harvard University Press, 1987. Pp.ix, 329. $27.50
  9. “Tort Law”, in Dennis Patterson (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Non-economic perspective of tort law

The tort law primarily establishes the relationship between the injurer, who has committed a wrong and the victim, who has suffered a damage due to the legal breach of law. The theory of Corrective justice is the most important and by far has influenced the non-economical idea that governs tort law. This theory has segregated two order duties, the first being the injuries committed which could be an act of negligence, an assault which should be followed by the way these injuries are defined, analyzed and the extent of scope that it creates defines the amount of repair that wrong requires. The duty to repair is then formed on the first order wherein the injuries have occurred. This theory then helps the branch of tort law to link the two elements of tort law wherein there has been a solid violation or infringement of the right of a person. This co-relation established to help understand the breach of the first order of duty is this theoretical justification.

Tort law is heavily analyzed economically since the compensation or the damages claimed are one of the essentials of tort law, all legitimate liabilities are simply expenses of some sort. The regularizing contrasts among such things as authorizing charges, misdeed obligation, and expenses: standardizing contrasts that would in any occasion have any kind of effect in how the law should move toward them. The objectives of law are to sufficiently for accomplishing social objectives, and these obligations rests to be superior. The significant point is that inside the monetary investigation, it is to incorporate the inclination of a reaction to bad behavior is dictated by its adequacy in making sure about the point being referred to; and in misdeed law, that point is ideal discouragement. Misdeed obligation is an instrument that accomplishes that point by moving expenses.

Consequently, remedial equity hypothesis demands that diverse legitimate liabilities are not just tradable cost-moving executes in the lawful tool kit, as they can have drastically unique expressive results, and some are suitable, able, or fitting reactions to the bad behavior being referred to while others are most certainly not.

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The branch of tort law has been explored over the ages and more than relying on hardbound statutes, the judges and their opinions have analyzed the existential nature of tort law over the years. There are multiple angles to dissecting the theories of tort law to understand their ability to understand conceptual framework. The tort law helps the victim to have their injuries restored and provide economic benefit through the establishment of compensation which are primarily decided by the judges. An utilitarian approach is taken up in analyzing and interpreting the tort laws which can be either interpreted in the lights of its economic analysis or along the lines of the relationship established between the two parties. The idea is to hold injurers accountable and correct the losses made by them. The branch of tort law is vast and the philosophical

explanations of the ground principles governing tort law speaks volumes about its end goal and the need to pursue an utilitarian measure of accountability and justice.


Weinrib, Ernest J., Correlativity, Personality, and the Emerging Consensus on Corrective Justice (January 1, 2001). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2001, Available at

“Tort Law”, in Dennis Patterson (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Coleman, Jules, Scott Hershovitz, and Gabriel Mendlow, "Theories of the Common Law of Torts", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

Introduction to English Tort Law,

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