LIABILITIES IN PRIVATE LAW
journal contributionposted on 15.10.2019, 10:26 by Peter Jaffey
This article elaborates upon and defends the distinction between “primary duty” claims and “primary liability” claims in private law introduced in a previous article. In particular, I discuss the relevance of the distinction to the debates over fault and strict liability and “duty skepticism” and to the relationship between primary and remedial rights. I argue that the tendency to assume that all claims in private law arise from a breach of duty is a source of error and confusion. As a prelude to the discussion, I set out an analysis of a claim or remedial right in private law as a Hohfeldian power correlated with a remedial liability. I also consider whether primary-liability claims can be formulated in terms of the legal relations found in Wesley Hohfeld's scheme, and I make some general comments about Hohfeldian analysis.