Relational justice and torts

Avihay Dorfman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This Chapter introduces relational justice to the study of tort law. It argues that tort law matters to a liberal society not necessarily because it provides private persons a court-administered system of redressing wrongdoing in a just, civil, or efficient manner. Rather, tort law matters because it determines pre-wrong terms of involuntary interactions so that people could, rather than merely would, relate as substantively free and equal private persons. This way of identifying the moral point of tort law carries certain explanatory and justificatory implications. I demonstrate this claim by focusing on workplace safety, the doctrines of nonfeasance liability, and the standard of reasonable care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Private Law Theory
EditorsHanoch Dagan, `Benjamin Zipursky
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic) 1788971620
ISBN (Print)9781788971614
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Legal Theory
  • Law of Obligations
  • Legal Philosophy


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