This is a general introductory unit of study concerned with liability for civil wrongs, with particular emphasis on torts protecting personal integrity, safety and freedom from personal injury. The unit seeks to examine and evaluate, through a critical and analytical study of primary and secondary materials, the function and scope of modern tort law and the rationale and utility of its governing principles. It also aims to build students' skills in problem solving and applying the law to hypothetical or real life situations. Particular topics on which the unit will focus include: (a) The role and impact of tort law in modern society, in comparison with other fields of law; (b) The role of fault as the principal basis of liability in the modern law; (c) Historical development of the action of trespass and the action on the case and the contemporary relevance of this development; (d) Trespass to the person (battery, assault, and false imprisonment); (e) The modern action on the case for intentional injury; (f) Defences to intentional torts; (g) Development and scope of the modern tort of negligence, including detailed consideration of the principles underpinning a duty of care in a range of common situations, the determination of breach of duty and the issues of causation and scope of liability or remoteness of damage, with particular reference to personal and psychiatric injury; (h) Compensation for personal injuries, including special and alternative compensation schemes; (i) Defences to negligence; (j) Vicarious liability for the torts of others and non-delegable duties; (k) Joint and several liability for personal injury and contribution between wrongdoers; (i) Injuries to relational interests, including compensation to relatives of victims of fatal accidents; survival of actions following death; and actions by employers for injury to employees.
1x2hr lecture and 1x1hr tutorial/week from week 1
Mid-semester take-home assignment (30%); tutorial participation (10%) and final take-home assignment (60%)
LAWS1005 or LAWS1010 or LAWS3001 or LAWS5001