Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006
Väitöskirja, kesäkuu 2006.
The main objective of the study is to articulate and justify the general principles of Finnish tort law. In the second place, the study aims at specifying what kinds of argument are relevant in supporting a claim that a certain principle should be recognized as a legal principle.
In the study, legal principles are understood as general and explicitly value-laden legal norms. Their validity conditions are twofold: legal principles should have institutional support and be morally and/or politically justified. In the study, the requirement of institutional support is given a substantial interpretation: in order to have institutional support, a principle should justify legal rules. A principle's institutional support is strengthened when a) the ruling required by an unambiguous legal rule is justified by the principle or b) the facts to which a vague legal rule attaches importance are relevant in evaluating the justification of a decision from the principle's point of view. In order to be a legal principle, a principle should gain wide institutional support from legal rules which are important in practice and have strong weight as the basis of a decision. At the same time, a scholar should critically evaluate the moral justification of a principle.
In the study, four general principles of Finnish tort law are articulated.
1) The principle of excessive risks: if the damage results from imposing the injured party's fundamental rights to excessive risks, the wrongdoer is liable for damages. The principle requires the compensation to be proportional to the excessive risks, and gains institutional support mainly from fault liability.
2) The principle of compensation for grave injuries: a natural person suffering grave personal injury is entitled to compensation. The principle does not prefer tort liability to other methods of compensation. Within Finnish tort law the principle gains institutional support from various legal rules relaxing or departing from the requirement of fault.
3) The principle of the fair distribution of harm: the burdens of risky human activities should be distributed to those who reap the benefits of the activity, ideally in proportion to the benefits. The principle gains wide institutional support from various rules of Finnish tort law, e.g. those concerning vicarious and strict liability.
4) The principle of outcome responsibility: tort law should express that a human being's prima facie responsibility for a damage he or she has caused is proportional to his or her ability to foresee and avoid the damage. In practice, the principle e.g. supports liability for damages if the foreseeability of the damage is explicitly recognized in the reasoning of the court. The principle gains fairly wide institutional support from various forms of tort liability.
Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.
© Helsingin yliopisto 2006
Viimeksi päivitetty 26.05.2006