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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: 13 April 2024

p. 83015. Vicarious Liabilitylocked

p. 83015. Vicarious Liabilitylocked

  • 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


The law of vicarious liability traditionally operates so as to impose liability on an employer for the tort of an employee, but several conditions must be satisfied. This chapter discusses the development of and justification for vicarious liability; the employment relationship and relationships ‘akin to employment’; and the requirement that the tort be committed in the course of employment for vicarious liability to arise. The chapter also considers primary liability of an employer for the conduct of an employee or independent contractor, arising out of breach of a non-delegable duty of care.

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