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The Duty of Care in Negligence


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An important reexamination of duty of care in negligence, offering the first book-length treatment of the subject in more than 25 years.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction I. What is the Duty of Care? II. Making Sense of the Duty of Care III. The Aim of this Book IV. The Structure of this Book V. Scope and Terminology 2. The Historical Foundations of the Duty of Care I. Introduction II. The Beginnings of the Duty of Care III. Towards a General Conception IV. Conclusion 3. Methods for Determining the Existence of a Duty of Care I. Introduction II. The Aftermath of Donoghue v Stevenson III. The Staggering March of Negligence IV. The Rise and Fall of Anns v Merton V. Caparo VI. Canada and the 'Two Stage' Test VII. Assumption of Responsibility and the 'Extended' Hedley Byrne Principle VIII. Australia and the 'Salient Features' Test IX. Pockets X. Incrementalism XI. Conclusion 4. Factual Duty I. Introduction II. The Dual Function of Duty III. Factual Duty, Fault, and Remoteness IV. Factual Duty and the Problem of the Unforeseeable Plaintiff V. Why Factual Duty Entered the Duty Enquiry and Why it Remains VI. Why Does it Matter? VII. Conclusion 5. Notional Duty I: General Principles I. Introduction II. The 'Categorical' Nature of Notional Duty III. Assumptions of Responsibility IV. Putting it all Together: The Structure of the Notional Duty Enquiry V. A Suggested Approach to Resolving Notional Duty Problems VI. Conclusion 6. Notional Duty II: Theoretical Issues I. Introduction II. The Use of Policy Considerations III. The Need for Notional Duty IV. Conclusion 7. Comparing the Duty Methodologies of Australia, Canada and the UK I. Introduction II. The Study III. The Competing Methodologies IV. Conclusion 8. Conclusion I. Introduction II. Moving Forward III. Conclusion

About the Author

James Plunkett is a barrister at the Victorian Bar in Melbourne. He has previously taught law at the University of Oxford and practised at the Bar of England and Wales.


Plunkett's book will prove a valuable guide to everyone involved in this area of law as to how we should approach duty of care issues in future. -- Nick McBride, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge * The Journal of Professional Negligence *
Given that the law on duty of care is highly contested and performs a normative function, it is a testament to Plunkett's writing that I found myself agreeing with most of his arguments... I cannot recommend this thoroughly researched and elegantly written monograph highly enough. -- Craig Purshouse, School of Law, University of Leeds * Modern Law Review *
This book would be of interest to practitioners, academics and the judiciary alike. Clearly written and cogently argued, this book succeeds in increasing its reader's understanding of this almost mystical concept. -- Val Corbett * Tort Law and Litigation Review *
The Duty of Care in Negligence provides a useful consolidation of the historical and modern evolution of duty and a thoughtful critique of some current scholarly debates. -- Erika Chamberlain, University of Western Ontario * Cambridge Law Journal *

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