Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Comparative research overviews tort law throughout Central America

Dean Castro Valle
Dean Claudia María Castro Valle of the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC), Honduras, has published a fascinating comparative overview of Central American tort law in Louisiana State University Law's (11:1) Journal of Civil Law Studies (2018).  The article is available for free download.

Dean Castro Valle nimbly frames the civil law mechanisms of Central America in the context of tort objectives, considering the interplay of corrective and distributive justice and the amalgamation of Roman and Anglo legal principles.  There is too little such scholarship about Latin America, owing in part to the language barrier.  Dean Castro Valle's research arises in the context of regional interest in economic and legal integration, a reminder that Central America should not be forgotten as a rising and economic and political force in the twenty-first century.

Here is the introduction (footnotes omitted).

In order to achieve the proper protection of individual interests, tort rules need to be applied efficiently whenever these interests are subjected to any kind of harm. For that to be possible, the traditional approach has been the acceptance that any loss or injury sustained by legally protected interests must meet certain requirements. The requirements include the actual existence of specific regulation designed for their legal protection, compensability, imputability to a person other than the victim, and certainty. Hence, tort is generated from the infringement of the general duty of respect due to any legally protected interest. It is a non-contractual obligation imposed on a person, in order to compensate the holders of such interests, for any injuries or losses caused. These interests can be either material or moral.

The primary requirement for the application of tort law is that the sustained damages, losses, or injuries must originate from a negligent or intentional activity or omission. This means that care and
precaution were omitted in the execution of such activity, and that the causation between this activity and the harmful effects can be proved in a court of justice. However, tort liability is essentially patrimonial. Its function is to grant, impede or repair a specific economic loss, while its application allows the reparation of indirect patrimonial injuries and non-pecuniary damages.

The aim of this paper is to compare the way that tort liability is regulated in the Central American civil codes (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama), understanding the similarities and differences in their approach. This sort of analysis could be the base of any harmonization effort, so relevant in the actual regional context, in view of the recent developments of the Central American economic integration process.


2 comments:

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  2. Thank you Professor Peltz-Steele for your review on my most recent article! Best regards,

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