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Date: Tue, 8 May 2007 12:37

From: Allan Beever

Subject: OBG Ltd


If you negligently cause personal injury to Jason, why is he able to sue you but I am not? Isn’t plausible to say that the reason is because it is Jason’s (right to) bodily integrity you violate and not mine? Isn’t this a natural thing to say, and not at all artificial? Wouldn’t it actually be odd if at least an answer of this kind was on the wrong track?

Perhaps the disagreement arises in part because we have different things in mind when we speak of “rights” here? I.e. I don’t think that Jason or I think of rights as “artificial constructions”, though, of course, they are normative, not physical, as is true of everything about law.



Dr Allan Beever
Reader in Law &
Chair of the LLB Board of Examiners
Department of Law
50 North Bailey
United Kingdom
FAX : +44 191 334 2801
Internal Telephone: 42816
External Telephone: +44 191 334 2816



From: Andrew Dickinson
Sent: 08 May 2007 12:19
Subject: [Spam?] RE: ODG: RE: OBG Ltd.

In my view, legal systems do not need to embrace artificial constructions of personal or human "rights" to construct a "mature" system of legal obligations. Why, for example, is it immature for the English legal system to tell me that it is wrong to lie and to enable not only the person misled but also any other person whose relationship with the representee is affected by the lied to pursue a civil claim against me (but not any other Tom, Dick or Harry whom might claim to have been affected by the lie or might object to fibs being told, i.e. the private attorney general)? The entire tort of negligence is based on such fine policy judgments, and does not deploy a "privity" doctrine in the sense that I understand you to use it. One might disagree with Lord Hoffmann as to where the line is to be drawn, and one might also criticise the fact that he did not clearly express the policy reasons underlying his decision, but I cannot agree that the decision in OBG is flawed because it fails to identify the right of the claimant that was infringed by the defendant's conduct.


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