Torts Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 173-186, 2010
15 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 26, 2010
This article uses the law of contributory negligence to illustrate the continuing inter-relationship between the common law and statute and the existence of universal issues of liability. It contrasts two approaches to teaching or deconstructing the law: starting at the ‘beginning’ of the story or starting with the current statute. Either approach illustrates how the modern lawyer - more mobile than ever and increasingly transnational - must engage in comparative study to understand the range of policy choices that courts and legislatures - in all jurisdictions - must make in the irrespective but not mutually exclusive roles of fixing and distributing the burden of liability. Both approaches also show that the teaching of statutory interpretation need not be parochial but can give insight into differing answers to these universal issues.
Keywords: tort law, statutory interpretation, comparative tort law, contributory negligence, apportionment, negligence
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
McDonald, Barbara, Teaching Torts: Where to Start in an Age of Statutes? (August 26, 2010). Torts Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 173-186, 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/83. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1666571