European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 223–237 | Cite as

‘Full’ Compensation Criteria: An Enquiry into Relative Merits

  • Ram Singh


The principle of ‘full’ compensation is said to restore the victim of an accident to the position he was in before the tort. The conventional ‘pre-tort position’ of the victim is taken to be the one in which he bears no accident losses at all. Therefore, a negligent injurer is required to compensate his victim fully. In an interesting paper in this journal, Van Wijck and Winters (2001) have reinterpreted the ‘pre-tort position’ of the victim, and proposed an ‘alternative’ specification of liability for the purpose of compensation. We study the relative merits of the two compensation criteria. We show that while the alternative compensation criterion is indeed insightful from economic as well as legal point of view, at the same time it suffers from some serious limitations.

tort liability rules alternative compensation criterion non-identical individuals court errors economic efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Law and GovernanceJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew Delhi-India

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