Compensation funds are used in vastly different ways across jurisdictions and legal traditions. They are an alternative to traditional tort, insurance and social security structures, and change or eliminate ordinary liability rules for certain classes of victims. Compensation funds have been established to solve liability problems in the domains of traffic accidents, financial deposits, crime victim redress, industrial and environmental damage, natural disasters and healthcare damage. They are popular with lawmakers, but their undefined nature (and sometimes incoherent status) raises important legal questions that have not yet been fully answered.
The way that compensation funds have developed in different jurisdictions has not always been consistent with the rest of the legal system within that jurisdiction. The contributions in this book consider the way in which these funds have been used in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Focusing on their functions, purpose, funding and quantum of compensation, new conclusions are drawn on the objectives of compensation funds and how they differ from insurance and social security.