St. Mary's Law Journal


As China develops its modern jurisprudence it faces a choice between emulating the legal frameworks of civil law countries or common law countries. Thus far, the civil law path has allowed for a rapid expansion of Chinese tort law, but jurists have found difficulty in applying such generalized statutory schemes with the absence of supporting judicial interpretation. Cognizant of the differences between the public policy of common law countries and China, Vincent Johnson’s Mastering Torts (Měiguó Qīnquán Fǎ) provides this guidance through the lens of American tort law. The hornbook takes care to simplify the role of judicial opinion without complicating explanations with an analysis of American public policy, which is sure to frustrate Chinese jurists’ understanding. Yet it highlights the role of philosophical debates amongst judges as critical to understanding the expansion of challenging concepts such as proximate cause and breach of duty. Mastering Torts logically presents tort concepts and is an exceptional tool to guide attorneys and students alike toward the future of tort law in China.

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St. Mary's University School of Law


William Todd Keller, Jr.