Governmental Liability: Some Comparative Reflections

Modern States face the task of compensating individuals in many ways, some of which do not fall within the domain of liability, in the sense of responsibility for an event that caused harm. Thus, it must be stressed the different nature of the right to compensation that arises either from the fault of the governmental bodies or from the risky activities that they undertake –that is, public liability- and the right to compensation in which underlies motives of solidarity, compassion and efficiency. This article explores such a topic with special reference to British Law, French Law and EU Law.

This article also addresses the question whether public liability for fault is actually different from fault as it is used in the domain of Private Law. Furthermore, it aims to ascertain the particular features of the liability regime stated in the European Convention and EU Law, its interpretation by the courts, and its impact on the development of public liability in the States Members, which basically consists on fixing a minimum standard. In fact, there are certain criteria that serve as a common basis for the liability of public administration, but there are significant differences in the conceptions of liability and duties to compensate as well.

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John Bell, «Governmental Liability: Some Comparative Reflections. », InDret 1.06