Arantxa Gutierrez Raymondova

Thesis title: The taxonomy of non-pecuniary losses. A comparative study of English law and French law

Current research interests

I'm carrying out a comparative study of the taxonomy of non-pecuniary losses in English law and French law. A primary aim of my research project is to expose the numerous areas of uncertainty due to a lack of systematic review and a disorderly expansion of numerous heads of non-pecuniary losses, adopting a comparative perspective. To achieve a clear picture of the current structure of the law it is fundamental to develop a secondary line of research focused on terminology. It would be impossible to analyse the coherency of current categories without some stability of what is meant by words such as wrong, loss, harm and damage in England; as well as 'dommage' and 'préjudice' in France. Critically, it is possible to see that on a daily basis the courts of these two jurisdictions award damages for pain and suffering, loss of reputation, etc. Yet, to make sense of these heads of losses at a taxonomic level, one must delve into the structure of tort law. In some cases, the system seems to operate in a two-tier (or bipolar) way, where the wrong and the concrete consequential losses that flow from it are conceptually separated. In other cases, it is possible to see the operation of a unipolar model where the infringement of a protected interest is also the loss (although an ‘abstract’ one), which ultimately conflates wrong and loss. Frequently, these two models are used at the same time by the courts, thus creating potential overlaps between them. If only tangentially, other areas are also explored in this research project, such as the history of the modern concept of non-pecuniary losses and their functions. The main issue addressed in my dissertation is how to explain the current structure of non-pecuniary losses in theoretical terms, and to propose a way of rationalise their taxonomy in England and France.

Past research interests

Duty to mitigate damages, Law of Obligations.

Affiliated research centres