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Vol 22 No 4 April/May 2017

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Vicarious Liability in Tort: A Comparative Perspective

ISBN13: 9781107627482
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2010)
Price: £24.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780521763370

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Vicarious liability is controversial: a principle of strict liability in an area dominated by fault-based liability. By making an innocent party pay compensation for the torts of another, it can also appear unjust. Yet it is a principle found in all Western legal systems, be they civil law or common law.

Despite uncertainty as to its justifications, it is accepted as necessary. In our modern global economy, we are unlikely to understand its meaning and rationale through study of one legal system alone. Using her considerable experience as a comparative tort lawyer, Paula Giliker examines the principle of vicarious liability (or, to a civil lawyer, liability for the acts of others) in England and Wales, Australia, Canada, France and Germany, and with reference to legal systems in countries such as the United States, New Zealand and Spain.

  • Analyses and explains a controversial area of tort law, being a principle of strict liability in a subject dominated by concepts of fault-based liability
  • Provides access to law not only in other common law systems, but also other European systems
  • Chapter on European private law and the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) is the first study of its implications for vicarious liability from a leading comparative lawyer
  • Suggests a number of much needed reforms

Comparative Law, Tort Law
1. What is vicarious liability?
2. Establishing a general framework for liability
3. The employer/employee relationship: identifying the contract of employment
4. Special difficulties: borrowed employees and temporary workers
5. Other relationships giving rise to liability
6. Acting in the course of one's employment/functions/assigned tasks: determining the scope of vicarious liability
7. Parental liability for the torts of their children: a new form of vicarious liability?
8. Understanding vicarious liability: reconciling policy and principle
9. A postscript: a harmonised European law of vicarious liability?
Annex: Key provisions of the French and German Civil Codes.