Reforming English Tort Law: Lessons from Australia
James Goudkamp, 'Reforming English Tort Law: Lessons from Australia' in Eoin Quill and Raymond J Friel (eds), Damages and Compensation Culture: Comparative Perspectives (Hart Publishing 2016) ch 4 (pp.75-94).
22 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016 Last revised: 16 Nov 2017
Date Written: 2016
If British lawmakers look to other jurisdictions for ideas as to how to reform tort law, it is not unlikely that they will turn their attention to Australia. Tort reform legislation swept across Australia at the start of the 21st Century. The purpose of this chapter is, therefore, to reflect upon what might be learned by British legislators from the Australian tort reform experience. It is hoped that this analysis might, in particular, assist legislators to understand, if they conclude that British tort law requires wider-scale statutory reforms than has occurred to date, which provisions in the Australian legislation might usefully be replicated or which at least deserve to be given serious consideration as a model for reform in Britain. It is also hoped that the analysis will help British legislators to appreciate which of the Australian provisions stand as nothing but warnings. Due to the small amount of space available only a handful of the Australian changes can be addressed. The analysis centres, therefore, on the most significant or interesting changes or those that seem to have the greatest prospect of being copied in Britain.
Keywords: tort; negligence; reform; legislation; statutes exemplary damages; punitive damages; good Samaritans; contributory negligence; apportionment of damages; discount rates; illegality doctrine
JEL Classification: K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation