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Vicarious Liability in Tort
A Comparative Perspective


Part of Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law

  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107627482

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About the Authors
  • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book deploys legal materials, code provisions, legislation, cases and academic commentary in a smooth and accessible manner. The pairing of originals and translations in the main body of the text is particularly helpful. The work proceeds with a clear structure. … All in all, the work does not try to be an exhaustive reference text but gives a clear exposition of the law and its problems. It even makes foreign law seem familiar and manageable to the reader. It is therefore an excellent book for students and established lawyers coming back to vicarious liability, including lawyers from outside England and Wales.' International and Comparative Law Quarterly

    '… offers a detailed comparative examination of the doctrine of vicarious liability … of interest to academic law libraries and could be of interest in any setting where a comparative approach to this area of law or quick access to key foreign jurisprudence and legislation on this doctrine would be useful.' John Bolan, Canadian Law Library Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107627482
    • length: 330 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Author

    Paula Giliker, University of Bristol
    Paula Giliker is Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Bristol, where she specialises in comparative tort law. She has previously taught at the University of Oxford and Queen Mary, University of London. She is also a qualified barrister and visiting lecturer at the Universities of Hong Kong and Valencia.

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