This article begins by mapping the topic of legal liability, with some basic distinctions between potential and current liability; criminal, civil, and administrative liability; areas of substantive law; and common law and civil law systems of liability. The remainder of the entry focuses on tort liability, with particular emphasis on the liability system. It discusses in some detail major elements of this liability system: (a) goals, (b) substantive rules, (c) procedural rules, (d) remedies, (e) choice of law, and (f) institutions, particularly the jury. A seventh element, which defines tort liability by exclusion, consists of enclaves in which tort law has been limited or eliminated: immunities and ‘no fault’ compensation schemes. The conclusion speculates on the future of tort liability, with particular attention to changes in social attitudes toward risk bearing, and to the relationship between tort liability and social insurance.
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