On May 6, 2016, Professors Andrew Botterell and Jason Neyers participated in the Private Law Theory Workshop (PLTW), hosted by York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. They presented a paper on the tort of deceit. The tort of deceit is somewhat anomalous: although it requires an intention to deprive another of something that belongs to her, unlike other so-called intentional torts, it also requires a plaintiff to show damage. Professors Botterell and Neyers argued that these two facts can be reconciled once it is understood that the tort exists to protect people from being dispossessed of the rights that they already have. They further argued that this explains why the tort is not actionable per se and why there has to be an intention for a fraudulent statement to be relied upon.
The PLTW’s aim is to provide an informal venue for Canadian scholars to discuss works in progress in the area of private law theory. The workshop was originally conceived of by Western Law professor Dennis Klimchuk, and this year’s workshop was attended by private law scholars from McGill, Osgoode, Queen’s, the University of Toronto, and Western, including Tort Law Research Group member Zoë Sinel.