Re: public safety laws (only)

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Thu Dec 28 2000 - 21:46:03 PST

> "Should certain kinds of behavior, which pose risks to members of the
> public, be prevented by regulations, or solely by the deterrent effect of
> lawsuits and/or criminal charges filed after-the-fact if the public is
> actually harmed?"

David Friedman has an interesting page on the
reasons to have both tort and criminal law:


It's especially interesting because he's dug
up a society which Mr. Bone might appreciate:

> ... medieval Icelandic institutions have several peculiar
> and interesting characteristics; they might almost have
> been invented by a mad economist to test the lengths
> to which market systems could supplant government in
> its most fundamental functions. Killing was a civil
> offense resulting in a fine paid to the survivors of
> the victim. Laws were made by a "parliament," seats in
> which were a marketable commodity. Enforcement of law was
> entirely a private affair. And yet these extraordinary
> institutions survived for over three hundred years,
> and the society in which they survived appears to have
> been in many ways an attractive one . Its citizens were,
> by medieval standards, free; differences in status based
> on rank or sex were relatively small; and its literary,
> output in relation to its size has been compared, with
> some justice, to that of Athens.


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