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Nozick, Prohibition, and No-Fault Motor Insurance

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No-fault insurance schemes involve prohibiting exercise of the natural rights of individuals to recover damages from those whose negligence causes them harm. Public debate about no-fault emphasises consequentialist benefits, and takes little account of the putative rights of individuals to recovery. I argue, however, that even on a relatively extreme rights-based conception of justice, such as Robert Nozick’s, it may be possible to justify a no-fault scheme. The argument proceeds by: (1) elucidating what compensation the Nozickian must offer in return for prohibiting an activity such as the private recovery of damages; and consequently (2) arguing that there is no prima facie reason to think that the compensation afforded by participation in a no-fault scheme would be any less adequate than that afforded by participation in a system of tort law

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Monash University, Clayton, Victoria Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2003


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