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Street on Torts

Street on Torts (16th edn)

Christian Witting
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date: 27 May 2024

p. 1978. Defences to negligencelocked

p. 1978. Defences to negligencelocked

  • Christian WittingChristian WittingProfessor of Law, National University of Singapore, Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria


This chapter examines several defences in negligence cases, including contributory negligence (failing to take care of your own interests), voluntary assumption of risk, express exclusion or limitation of liability, and illegality (a plea by the defendant that the claimant should not be able to make a claim because the claim requires reference to the claimant’s own illegal acts). It explains that the plea of voluntary assumption of risk and the defences of express exclusion of liability and illegality can help the defendant reduce liability or avoid liability altogether. The chapter notes that contributory negligence is by far the most important of these defences in practical terms.

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