Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Current & Recent Research at Penn Law

File: [View Document]
Author: Corbett, Angus
Citation: Angus Corbett, 'The (Self)-Regulation of Law: A Synergistic Model of Tort Law and Regulation' (2002) 25(3) UNSWLJ 616-650
Date Published: 2002
Date Posted: 01/21/2018
Subjects: Law and Regulatory Systems
Law and Social Sciences
Keywords: Government Regulation
Law and Society
A recent report on the insurance crisis made just this claim when it asserted that one possible area of reform was to ‘rewrite tort law to bring the standard of negligence back to a reasonable person’s approach, and away from strict liability’. There appears to be a general view that tort law is an institution in society which needs to be re-integrated into the legal system to ensure that the values it upholds accord with those of the ‘broader community’. The perception that there is an uncontrolled expansion in tort law is wrong and unhelpful. There are, of course immediate and practical problems caused by the current trough in the insurance market and there seems little doubt that the cost and/or availability of insurance is a problem for some, perhaps even broad, sections of the community. What I argue is that these problems are not in any real sense ‘caused’ by tort law. Rather, they are the result of the interaction of a broad matrix of institutional and legal concerns. These include changes in regulation and in understandings of institutional responsibility, for example expectations of markets, regulators and of significant public and private institutions responsible for the delivery of goods and services in the community. The problems generated by these institutional and regulatory changes should be addressed with reference to this matrix of factors and not via a surrogate — tort law.