Damages (Jewish Law)

Damages (Jewish Law)

In Jewish law, damages (Hebrew: nezikin נזיקין) covers a range of jurisprudential topics that roughly correspond in secular law to torts. Jewish law on damages is grounded partly on the Written Torah, the Hebrew Bible, and partly on the Oral Torah, centered primarily in the Mishnaic Order of Nezikin. Since at least of the time of the Mishnah, Rabbinic culture developed and interpreted the laws of damages through communal courts, judges, and enforcement. While Jewish communities exercised relatively little authority over criminal law in the diaspora, quasi-autonomous communal oversight of damages (tort law) continued to be extensive until the modern era. Today, observant Jews may voluntarily submit themselves to adjudication of damages disputes by rabbinic judges and courts (beit din). In addition, aspects of rabbinic law have been absorbed into tort law in Israel.

Torts or "damages" include any wrongful act, neglect, or default whereby legal harm is caused to the person, property, or reputation of another. Damages usually give rise to some form of compensatory liability, though some exceptional damages may be prohibited (or merely deprecated) without concomitant liability. Under rabbinic law, there are important distinctions between damages caused by persons or by property, and between direct and indirect action. When people cause damage directly, they are covered by the rabbinic equivalent of either assault and battery, against another person, or trespass against another's property. When one's property causes damage, Jewish law may distinguish torts due to such factors as accidents, negligence, fault or wilful fraud.

As a religious law, Jewish law or halakhah characterize a variety of actions as damages, though these may not correspond to secular legal conceptions. Notably, Jewish law tends to go beyond secular law in prohibiting or regulating acts of hurtful speech, humiliation, betrayal, and self-injury.

Read more about Damages (Jewish Law):  History and Literature, Accidents, Assault and Battery, Self-Injury and Self-Endangerment

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Famous quotes containing the word damages:

    According to the law of nature it is only fair that no one should become richer through damages and injuries suffered by another.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.)