Principles of European Tort Law – Public Authority Liability 

In the last decades, liability relating to public authorities (‘public authority liability’)  has been one of the main focuses of development in tort law in Europe, with major reforms implemented or considered at national level, and a steady stream of major court decisions. During the same period, public authority liability has also been recognised in the law of the EU, and the interplay of principles of national and EU law – and additionally the ‘just satisfaction’ jurisprudence of the ECtHR – evidently warrants close attention. At present, neither of the two European tort law harmonisation projects (the PETL and Book VI of the DCFR) addresses public authority liability, and a major study considering the current state of play across Europe and the possibility of harmonisation in this area is undoubtedly overdue.

The project aims are to contribute to the understanding of the law of tortious liability relating to public authorities in the legal systems of Europe, to facilitate its enhancement where necessary or desirable, and to consider the appropriateness of extending the European Group’s PETL to cover public authority liability, and (if appropriate) the best means of effecting this.

The results of the study have been published by the Group's new series publisher, Intersentia:

Ken Oliphant (ed), The Liability of Public Authorities in Comparative Perspective (2016), ISBN 978-1-78068-238-9