… The central thesis of this article is that tort law has a central normative principle based in morality that serves a wider social function and which renders it indispensable to the functioning of a proper democratic society. To date, this underlying purpose has been assumed but not explicitly articulated and the question of what tort law is doing or what it is supposed to do has not heretofore been properly ventilated. The popular criticisms of tort law are one-eyed in that they tend to measure the efficacy of tort law through the prism of its compensatory function. This is a mistake, as it fails to realise that tort law is more than an administrative scheme by which compensation is paid to the injured. It is the purpose of this article to identify what the normative basis of tort law is and to test its legitimacy as a descriptive and prescriptive unifying theory of tort law. The normative purpose outlined here is a moral one which rests on the notion of respect for oneself and for others and which may be identified as the promotion of human dignity within a social community …
Val Corbett, ‘The Promotion Of Human Dignity: A Theory Of Tort Law’, Irish Jurist 2017, 58, 121-152.