This Research Handbook has highlighted the diversity and breadth of European Union (EU) tort law. When we think of EU tort law, we think of sources of EU law, be they primary or secondary legislation or decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which have given individual EU citizens the right to sue for compensation primarily in their own national courts for wrongs committed against them. In the first part of the book, the contributors to this volume have identified sources of EU tort law arising in a variety of ways: institutional liability of the EU, state liability for breach of EU law, treaty provisions (competition law) and liability arising as a result of directives (product liability, data protection law, employment law, financial services law, unfair commercial practices liability) or as a result of the transposition of directives (personal injury claims supported by the intervention of the Motor Insurance Directives). Lawyers, practising or otherwise, may not think of these areas of law as interconnected, but as the authors have highlighted, commonalities exist. Together they provide a framework of rights for citizens which seek to compensate the vulnerable, the deprived and the misled. From a UK perspective, the value of highlighting the nature of these rights is of real importance lest a state, which seeks to leave the EU, fails to recognise the value of EU tort law to its citizens. In this chapter, I reflect on the nature of EU tort law, its problems but also its successes, and the extent to which tensions remain between EU tort law and its application in the national courts. I also examine whether it is now possible to identify an emerging culture of EU tort law and the debates this provokes, both in the different responses of EU states to the idea of ‘Europeanisation’ and the success (or otherwise) of harmonisation projects which seek to create a foundation for a ‘European law of tort’. In examining the future of EU tort law, my aim is to demonstrate to lawyers that this is an important area of law which is increasing in scope. It is vital that EU citizens both recognise the benefits of EU tort law and take advantage of the rights it provides.
Journal name not available for this finding