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Maimonides and Contemporary Tort Theory: Law, Religion, Economics and Morality

Start: May 11, 2015 6:30:00 PM

This lecture presents Maimonides’ complete tort theory, revealed in the light of all his works – halakhic as well as philosophical. Professor Sinai will recount a story that was neglected by the scholars and the commentators on Maimonides: a story about the rationalization of tort laws that was told by Maimonides in the 'Guide of the Perplexed', his well-known philosophical work, from which it emerges that tort law has two main objectives. One is that of removing wrong (a type of corrective justice), and the second, which is surprising in view of the period in which it was first conceived, is the social objective of preventing damages. There is also a religious dimension, which Maimonides emphasises less, and this includes the prohibition against causing injury, “an eye for an eye”, and a blurring of the boundaries between criminal law and tort law. Professor Sinai will also include a comparison between Maimonides and prominent modern scholars.