Issues Regarding Modernisation of Tort Law in Latvia

Mg.iur. Jānis Kubilis
PhD Student (University of Latvia)
Attorney at Magnusson Law Firm
19 May 2014
 What is tort law?
 Why modernisation is important?
 What stands in the way?
 Some particular issues
 Conclusions
A civil wrong, other than breach of contract,
for which a remedy may be obtained in the
form of damages; a breach of a duty that the
law imposes on persons who stand in a
particular relation to one another
Black's Law Dictionary
A body of rights and obligations concerning
legal relations arising out of a tort (civil
liability for a tort)
Functions of Tort Law
 Compensation
 Deterrence et al.
Basic norm in Civil Code of Latvia
 Every tort, that is, every wrongful act per se, as a
result of which harm has been caused (also nonpecuniary damage), shall give the victim the right
to claim satisfaction from the infringer, insofar as
he or she may be held liable for such act
New torts – legal framework needs to be
Discrepancies within the existing legal
Harmonisation within EU – sharing the
concepts, experience
More extensive and efficient protection of the
 Legal traditions
 Legislative procedure
 Lex specialis in specific areas
 Unwillingness to change
 Case law and doctrine
 Polemics on new concepts
Preconditions of civil liability
Strict liability and fault-based liability
 Causation and foreseeability of damage
 Concept of fault
 Concept of misconduct
Pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage
 Policy approach
 Determining the amount
Joint and several liability for damage
Shifting the onus probandi
Personal injury and wrongful death claims
Professional liability
Civil liability is intended to provide the person
who has suffered damage an effective remedy
and to prevent the risk of damage in advance or
to deter etc.
Enhanced legal framework may serve to ensure:
safe environment around us
minimization of foreseeable risks
liability insurance
an efficient protection of the victim in case damage is
caused et al.
Modernisation involves dealing with issues of
national tort law and harmonisation of tort law at
EU level

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