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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explains the reasons for the imposing of liability by private law given by contemporary legal theorists and deterrence theorists. Private rights of action in private law represent a domain within which individuals may pursue a state-created avenue of self-help. A focus on private rights of action is salutary both in explaining liability under private law, and in locating private law liability within the structure of the legal system more broadly. It leads us to recognize a fundamental family of principles at the core of private law litigation; individuals who have been legally wronged by others are entitled to an avenue of civil recourse against those who have wronged them. This helps us to credit the role of the state in all law, while simultaneously recognizing distinctive doctrinal, jurisprudential, and political features of private law.

Keywords: liability, private law, legal system, jurisprudential, doctrinal

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