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This book examines claims for compensation for negligently-inflicted harm connected to an illegal act of the plaintiff. A variety of public policy and other grounds have been advanced for resolving these claims, resulting in an area that is characterised by confusing and contradictory doctrine.
The book examines the illegality doctrine within a framework of corrective justice theory. Illegality doctrine poses particular difficulties for the corrective justice explanation of negligence law, especially where the basis for denial of relief is based on public policy considerations that are external to the relationship of the parties.
The book argues that the only legitimate rationale for a doctrine of illegality is the legal policy of preserving the coherence of the legal system. In so doing it develops the work of Ernest Weinrib and Allan Beever to explain both how the 'policy' objective of legal coherence fits within the framework of corrective justice theory, and why legal coherence provides the only valid conceptual basis for a doctrine of illegality.