Private law: A social tool that reflects different forms of justice

Posted on 01 May 2014

Professor Tsachi Keren-Paz, Professor of Private Law at Keele University, will give the next lecture in University's programme of Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2013-14, on Monday 12th May 2014, in the Westminster Theatre, Chancellor's Building, on the Keele campus. His lecture is titled ‘Private law: A social tool that reflects different forms of justice’.

The theory of private law – the area governing interactions between individuals, such as contracts and torts – is still partially dominated by a ‘corrective justice’ approach focusing merely on the past interaction between the litigants and denying the relevance of broader considerations and effects on society. In this talk, he will defend an alternative view according to which private law (and law generally) is one social tool to achieve different forms of justice. While not denying the importance of corrective justice to private law, such an account stresses the importance of distributive justice, and in particular of equality and fairness, and the ways in which distributive justice informs the scope of obligations recognised by corrective justice.

This approach will be demonstrated by focusing on several examples, including the call for a wealth sensitive standard of care in the tort of negligence, explaining the regressive effects following from the rule of full compensation for personal injuries and examining the scope of obligations towards victims of sex trafficking by traffickers, clients and the state.

Tsachi Keren-Paz is a Professor of Private Law. He has published widely, mainly in the areas of tort law, restitution law and medical liability and his scholarship has been cited by Israeli Supreme Court and lower court decisions, and has influenced the development of the law in several areas of private law. His first book, Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice (Ashgate 2007) was shortlisted for both the Society of Legal Scholars’ Peter Birks Book Prize and the Hart/Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize for Early Career Scholars. It is now being translated to Spanish and will be published by Marcial Pons as part of their Philosophy & Law series. His second book,Sex Trafficking: A Private Law Response has been published last May with Routledge. His next projects examine the alleged disincentive to innovate in medicine created by tort law, and the scope of right to receive restitution of profits from those who received a benefit by paying a bribe.

Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6 pm in the Westminster Theatre, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Foskett.

This lecture is free and open to all.