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Modern and Contemporary Law

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Chapter Summary

The Roman concept of claim for damages has been the prevailing view for centuries, in situations which modern lawyers would consider as negligence that the negligence of the injured party led to a denial of his claim. The two different approaches, that of Roman law and that of natural law, influenced the discussion from the eighteenth century onwards. The natural law jurist Wolff, although holding a minority view at that time, turned away from the all-or-nothing approach. He believed that if the negligence of the wrongdoer as well as the contributory negligence of the injured party contributed to the damage in question, both parties should bear the damage, proportionate to the gravity of faults on either side. The question remains whether a partition of damages or the all-or-nothing approach was laid down in codes and which approach was applied in nineteenth- and twentieth-century legal scholarship and legal practice.

Keywords: damages; injured party; natural law; Roman concept of claim; Roman law



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