David Cohen has made a powerful and sophisticated attack on the use of tort concepts in the public arena. His main contention is that private tort law is an inappropriate vehicle for sorting out claims by citizens against the state and therefore that the extension of tort into the public sphere has been a mistake. His paper is likely to become the locus classicus of that position. It is fortunate that he has done this work so well, because it enables us to evaluate that position in the light of the very best arguments that can be made for it. I shall contend that these arguments do not succeed.