Civil law: a delict (wrong) caused by negligence.
A quasi-delict is a negligent act or omission which causes harm or damage to the person or property of another, and thus exposes a person to civil liability in civil law jurisdictions, as if the act or omission was intentional (a delict).
Quasi-delicts were not recognized by early Roman law.
Gaius, for example, defined obligations as comprised only of delicts and contracts.
Quasi-delicts only received official recognition in the publication of Justinian's Institutes in about 533 and thereafter were part and parcel of Roman law and, later, civil law.
Robert-Joseph Pothier defined a delict as intentional harm. But a quasi-delict, wrote Pothier is:
" ... where a person, not with malice but by inexcusable carelessness, causes harm to another."
In his 1967 Dictionaire de Droit, Barraine defines a quasi-delict as:
"Any unintentional and unlawful act or omission which causes damages."
- Barraine, Raymond, Dicionnaire de Droit (Paris: R. Pichon, 1967), page 247 ("Tout fait dommageable et illicite comis sans intention de nuire ... pouvant revêtir la forme d'un acte ou d'une omission").
- Buckland, W. and McNair, A., Roman Law and Common Law (Cambridge: University Press, 1965), page 193.
- Bugnet, M., Oeuvres de Pothier, Volume 2 (Paris: Henri Plon, 1861), page 57 ("Le quasi-délit est le fait par lequel une personne, sans malignité, mais par imprudence qui n'est pas excusable, cause quelque tort à un autre").
- Duhaime, Lloyd, LegalDefinition of Delict
- Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Obligations
- Nadeau, R. and A., Traité Pratique de la Responsabilité Civile (Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur, 1971), page 4-5.
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