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Tort Law: Text and Materials

Tort Law: Text and Materials (6th edn)

Mark Lunney, Donal Nolan, and Ken Oliphant
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date: 22 April 2024

p. 55511. Special Liability Regimeslocked

p. 55511. Special Liability Regimeslocked

  • Mark Lunney, Mark LunneyProfessor of Law, University of New England in New South Wales
  • Donal NolanDonal NolanProfessor of Private Law. Francis Reynolds and Clarendon Fellow and Tutor at Worcester College, University of Oxford
  •  and Ken OliphantKen OliphantDirector of the Institute for European Tort Law, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna


Although much of the law of tort is based upon general common law principles, there are a number of situations where special liability regimes have been created. This chapter focuses on four of these special liability regimes. The first regime to be considered is employers’ liability, whose origins lie in nineteenth-century common law. Two other special regimes are then considered: the liability of occupiers to those coming onto their land (governed by the Occupiers’ Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984) and liability in respect of defective products (governed by the Consumer Protection Act 1987). In both these areas Parliament has intervened to remedy perceived failings in the common law. The final part of this chapter considers the common law action for breach of statutory duty. This differs from the action for negligence in that the source of the defendant’s duty is not the common law; rather, the claimant’s case is founded on a breach of a duty imposed on the defendant by Parliament.

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