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Is Public Nuisance a Tort?

Merrill, Thomas W.

Public nuisance law is an atavism.The fundamental objection is that public nuisance never was, and ought not to be, regarded as a tort. It is a public action, and as such should be subject to the control and direction of the legislature. Given the confusion sown by the Restatement, existing statutory authority condemning activity as a “public nuisance” should be interpreted non-dynamically, as ratifying understandings of that term when the law was enacted. For the future, legislatures should avoid speaking of public nuisances, and should instead spell out what is prohibited, the sanctions for violation, and which entities have authority to enforce the law.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Tort Law

More About This Work

Academic Units
Law
Published Here
October 30, 2015
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