This detailed description and comparative analysis of the development of tort law in Europe over the last 150 years is based on national reports that are structured by a basic questionnaire. The national reports are complemented with a comparative analysis of the parallel, though often diverging, developments in the different legal systems. It can clearly be seen that different groups in the legal systems, such as judges and scholars, often had diverging views on tort law that were translated into more specific doctrinal and evaluative statements. Accompanied by a general expansion of liability due to changing perceptions of the risks of accidents, the former Roman law of delict and the medieval law of torts have been transformed into modern rules of extra-contractual liability that are deeply entrenched into the social security and insurance systems.
Professor Nils Jansen currently serves on the Law Faculty of the University of Munster, Germany. He holds the Chair for Roman Law, Legal History, German and European Private Law, and is a Principal Investigator in the Cluster of Excellence Religion and Politics in the Cultures of Pre-Modernity and Modernity. Since April 2005, Professor Jansen has been consulting the Chinese Government with regard to a codification of tort law.