Liability for robots I: Legal challenges

Alice Guerra, Francesco Parisi, Daniel Pi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In robot torts, robots carry out activities that are partially controlled by a human operator. Several legal and economic scholars across the world have argued for the need to rethink legal remedies as we apply them to robot torts. Yet, to date, there exists no general formulation of liability in case of robot accidents, and the proposed solutions differ across jurisdictions. We proceed in our research with a set of two companion papers. In this paper, we present the novel problems posed by robot accidents, and assess the legal challenges and institutional prospects that policymakers face in the regulation of robot torts. In the companion paper, we build on the present analysis and use an economic model to propose a new liability regime which blends negligence-based rules and strict manufacturer liability rules to create optimal incentives for robot torts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Institutional Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Millennium Economics Ltd.


  • Automated technology
  • electronic legal personhood
  • liability
  • robots


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