LFC Seminar - Organisational Vicarious Liablity

LFC Seminar - Organisational Vicarious Liablity
LFC Seminar - Organisational Vicarious Liablity

Principal speaker

Professor Christian Witting


This paper argues that the rules of vicarious liability are practical rules designed to achieve ordinary tort goals of compensation and deterrence, but that they have evolved differently according to the type of defendant in question. In the crucible years of the formation of the rules on vicarious liability, the central concept tying liability to the defendant was a liberal notion of "agency'. It is still the case that, where there are personal relations between the vicariously liable party and the wrongdoer, the best explanation for liability is a quasi-agency explanation. The defendant who appoints someone to do something for him or her has a particular relationship to ensuing wrongs. However, in most cases liability falls not upon individuals but upon organisations. A second strand of vicarious liability has become more apparent in recent times. This is imposed upon organisations because, typically, they are "deterrable' parties, vicarious liability being a means of inducing from them the development of proper standards of conduct in all of their operations undertaken by employees and quasi-employees. This paper focuses upon an explanation of organisational vicarious liability.

About the speaker

Christian Witting is Professor of Private Law at Queen Mary University of London and Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, formerly in service with the Commonwealth Attorney's General's Department. Christian has research interests in both company law and tort law. He is the author of Liability of Corporate Groups and Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and Liability for Negligent Misstatements (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is also the fourth and current author of the textbook Street on Torts (Oxford University Press, 15th edn, 2018).

About the seminar

Light refreshments will be provided from 5.30pm with the seminar to commence at 6.00pm. This seminar is jointly sponsored with with the Australian Centre for Private Law at TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland.

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RSVP on or before Thursday 16 August 2018 , by email lawfutures@griffith.edu.au

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