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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Pritchard-Jones, Laura 2016. The good, the bad, and the ‘vulnerable older adult’. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 51.

    Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas and Webb, Thomas E. 2015. Vulnerable bodies, vulnerable systems. International Journal of Law in Context, Vol. 11, Issue. 04, p. 444.

  • International Journal of Law in Context, Volume 8, Issue 3
  • September 2012, pp. 337-353

The vulnerable subject of negligence law

  • Carl F. Stychin (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2012

The approach taken by English courts to the duty of care question in negligence has been subject to harsh criticism in recent years. This article examines this fundamental issue in tort law, drawing upon Canadian and Australian jurisprudence by way of comparison. From this analysis, the concept of vulnerability is developed as a productive means of understanding the duty of care. Vulnerability is of increasing interest in legal and political theory and it is of particular relevance to the law of negligence. In addition to aiding doctrinal coherence, vulnerability – with its focus on relationships and care – has the potential to broaden the way in which the subject of tort law is conceived because it challenges dominant assumptions about autonomy as being prior to the relationships on which it is dependent.

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Peter J. Atkins , M. Manzurul Hassan and Christine E. Dunn (2006) ‘Toxic Torts: Arsenic Poisoning in Bangladesh and the Legal Geographies of Responsibility’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 31: 272–85.

Clive Barnett and David Land (2007) ‘Geographies of Generosity: Beyond the “Moral Turn”’, Geoforum 38: 1065–75.

Allan Beever (2008) ‘Corrective Justice and Personal Responsibility in Tort Law’, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 28: 475500.

Joanne Conaghan (2003) ‘Tort Law and Feminist Critique’, in M. D. A. Freeman (ed.), Current Legal Problems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 175209.

Maria Drakopoulou (2000) ‘The Ethic of Care, Female Subjectivity and Feminist Legal Scholarship’, Feminist Legal Studies 8: 199226.

James George (2002) ‘Watson v. British Boxing Board of Control: Negligent Rule-Making in the Court of Appeal’, Modern Law Review 65: 106119.

Paula Gilliker (2005) ‘Revisiting Pure Economic Loss: Lessons to be Learnt from the Supreme Court of Canada?’, Legal Studies 25: 4971.

Richard Kidner (1987) ‘Resiling from the Anns Principle: The Variable Nature of Proximity in Negligence’, Legal Studies 7: 319–32.

Emmanuel Levinas (1991 [1961]) Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, trans. Lingis. Alphonso Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Emmanuel Levinas (1991 [1974]) Otherwise than Being, or Beyond Essence, trans. Lingis. Alphonso Dordrecht: Kluwer.

John Silk (2004) ‘Caring at a Distance: Gift Theory, Aid Chains and Social Movements’, Social & Cultural Geography 5: 229–51.

Christian Witting (2005) ‘Duty of Care: An Analytical Approach’, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 25: 3363.

Christian Witting (2008) ‘The House that Dr Beever Built: Corrective Justice, Principle and the Law of Negligence’, Modern Law Review 71: 621–40.

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International Journal of Law in Context
  • ISSN: 1744-5523
  • EISSN: 1744-5531
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-law-in-context
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