John Harrison

Immunity Rules

Cambridge University Press

UVA Law Faculty Affiliations

John C. Harrison


Analysis based on Hohfeld’s analytical system shows that liability rules, as defined by Guido Calabresi and A. Douglas Melamed, are a false category. The concept combines two kinds of legal rules, each important in itself, but not alike in any important way. Accident law, in which the injurer pays compensation for the victim’s harm and is subject to no stronger remedy, is the leading example of one kind of liability rule. Eminent domain, in which the government acquires interests in property without the owner’s consent and pays compensation, is the other leading example.


John C. Harrison, Immunity Rules, in Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Ted M. Sichelman, & Henry E. Smith Wesley Hohfeld A Century Later: Edited Work, Select Personal Papers, and Original Commentaries, Cambridge University Press, 386–418 (2022).

More in This Category