Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Contract and tort law have usually been doctrinally separated. The dominant phenomenon of social regulation, however, today overshadows the autonomous assumption of obligations through contract and the imposition of obligations through general tort rules. The author examines the development of West German tort law and shows that tort law has increasingly become a means of social regulation through judge-made rules of conduct. Special judge-made tort law regulates the social behavior of previously autonomous market citizens. The author argues that this trend toward social regulation through special tort law has rendered nineteenth century legal ideas about the relationship between contract and tort law untenable. The author calls this trend "contorts."