Obligations quasi ex delicto and Strict Liability in Roman Law

EJM Descheemaeker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The meaning of the Gaian-Justinianic division of obligations arising from unlawful events into obligationes ex delicto and quasi ex delicto has long been a puzzle for Romanists. The strict liability theory, which understands “quasi-delicts” as examples of situational wrongs, defined independently of fault, was first aired in the 1940s but has never gained widespread support. The case of the iudex qui litem suam facit was regarded as a stumbling block for the theory. The present article aims to make a new and systematic case for strict liability as the basis of the quasi-delictal category and argues that, in the light of archaeological discoveries which have overhauled our understanding of the judge’s liability, we can now have a coherent picture of Roman quasi-delictal liability as liability even without fault.
Translated title of the contributionObligations quasi ex delicto and Strict Liability in Roman Law
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 20
JournalJournal of Legal History
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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