1st Edition

State Liability and the Law A Historical and Comparative Analysis

By Bartłomiej Wróblewski Copyright 2023

    This book explores the historical foundations of holding public authorities accountable for their acts, and discusses how and why the idea that the state should or should not be held liable became established in three significant jurisdictions. The issue of state liability for legislative acts is considered one of the most difficult and controversial problems in jurisprudence. This book analyses the development of concepts and institutions of liability for the acts of legislator pertaining to the general principles of state liability until the mid-20th century in the leading European legal systems: Germany, France and Great Britain. It is shown that, in contrast to the prevailing conviction, the lack of liability for law-making instruments was not an unassailable dogma, and that questions as to whether such liability was possible were being asked from the Middle Ages onwards. The book will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers in the areas of Constitutional Law, Public Law, History of Law, History of Legal and Political Thought, Philosophy of Law, and Comparative Legal Studies.


    List of abbreviations


    Part One : The Institutions and Concepts of State Liability in Selected Legal Systems until the End of the 18th Century

    Chapter I: Ancient Greece and Rome

    Chapter II: The Middle Ages

    Chapter III: The early modern era

    Summary of Part One

    Part Two: The Development of Contemporary Systems of State Liability for Acts of the Public Authorities

    Chapter IV: Germany

    Chapter V: France

    Chapter VI: England

    Summary of Part Two

    Part Three: The Problems Associated with State Liability for Legislative Acts

    Chapter VII: Liability for acts of the legislator in German scholarship and law

    Chapter VIII: Recognition of liability for acts of the legislator in French scholarship and law

    Chapter IX. The dogma of lack of liability for acts of the legislator in English scholarship and law

    Summary of Part Three

    Concluding remarks


    Reference list

    List of quoted normative instruments

    List of quoted judgments


    Bartłomiej Wróblewski is an Assistant Professor of Law at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland.