“Weakness” in the context of the compensation of non-pecuniary losses in English law and French law


The internal coherence of English law and French law regarding the compensation of non-pecuniary losses can be tested by analysing how they conceive compensation for pain and suffering. In such context, the polysemic concept of weakness can be traced as a factor that explains a number of the asymmetries still persisting between what is conceived as being pecuniary as opposed to non-pecuniary, especially regarding the legal regime governing some physical injuries, on one hand, and mental distress, on the other. In this presentation a general overview of the distinction between pecuniary and non-pecuniary will be outlined, to then move to a brief overview of the historical sources which explain how the law arrived at its current position, from a comparative perspective. It will be argued that there are a number of areas where incoherence still persists in the legal sphere, both in English law and French law, for reasons overcome long ago in other areas of knowledge such as Philosophy of the Mind and Cognitive Sciences.

In La faiblesse en droit 34, 71-83 (2020)
Arantxa Gutiérrez Raymondova
Arantxa Gutiérrez Raymondova
Lecturer in Private law

I am a Lecturer in Private law at the University of Glasgow. I am interested in tort law, comparative law, contract law, and taxonomy.