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Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 13:44

From: Robert Stevens

Subject: OBG again


I know that Rob views the economic torts as an exception to the privity doctrine


Sorry to have another bite, but I don't think this. I think causing loss by unlawful means is an exceptional situation where a third party is allowed to piggy back on another's rights (see also Lord Hoffmann at [60]) but I don't think that that provides a general explanation of the so called 'economic torts'.

Lord Wedderburn famously said that the 'economic torts still await their Atkin' (see also Lord Hoffmann (at [31]). We'll be waiting forever. The reason is that these torts don't really have much in common with one another, indeed that is one of the lessons to take from all of the speeches in OBG that there is no overarching genus principle. There are several different torts with different rationales.

I even doubt whether there is anything specifically 'economic' about them. If I deliberately inflict physical discomfort or emotional distress upon you using unlawful means, should that be actionable or not?

I think it should be.   


Robert Stevens



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