Aims of the Law of Torts

The aim of the law of torts refers to the overarching purpose or objective of this branch of civil law. The law of torts aims to provide a legal framework for individuals who have suffered harm or injury as a result of the wrongful actions or omissions of others.

Although a tort is essentially a civil injury, all civil injuries are not torts. Only in cases where the particular act of public nuisance amounts to private nuisance that private citizens are entitled to bring actions. For example-if a person wrongfully obstructs public road, the government authorities alone are entitled to take action against the wrongdoer. On the other hand, if the conveyance to particular person who has to travel that way along with heavy luggage in loaded wagons through another route he will be able to get damages from the wrongdoer for the special damages suffered by him.

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Therefore it is true to say that a tort is essentially a civil injury but all civil injuries are not torts. The main aims of the law of torts are as following:-

(a) To give the plaintiff what the defendant has promised him or at least to give him damages for not getting what the defendant has promised.

(b) To compensate for harm or to prevent the continuance of repetition of harm.

(c) To restore to a person what another unjustly obtained at his expense: This is commonly known as restriction.

(d) To punish for wrongs and to deter from wrongdoing: This is the historic function of the criminal law. But in torts this also has importance.

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(e) To decide the right of the parties: This is commonly called as declaratory remedy. When right of plaintiff is disputed by the defendant, in action for damages court may decide the plaintiff’s right. Thus where plaintiff chattels are unjustly detained by the defendant, in an action for damages, the court may, in awarding the damages, declare the plaintiff’s title.

(f) To decide or alter a person’s status: The most common example of proceeding to alter the status are divorce, when court is asked to dissolve a marriage and alter the status of the parties.

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