Coronavirus and the Law of Obligations

UNSW Law Journal Forum, No. 3, 2020

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 20/41

12 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2020

See all articles by Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

The University of Western Australia Law School

John Eldridge

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: July 01, 2020

Abstract

COVID-19 has touched every aspect of Australian society, including the law of obligations. This comment considers how the pandemic could affect contracts – a topic which is already a very popular subject of law firms’ client updates. After discussing frustration and force majeure, it addresses a few relevant torts, including trespass to the person, the tort recognised in Wilkinson v Downton, and negligence. The comment is intended to provoke further dialogue on how COVID-19 is affecting Australian law, including in the forthcoming thematic issue of the University of New South Wales Law Journal on ‘Rights Protection amidst COVID-19’.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, frustration, force majeure, pandemics, tort, contract

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Michael and Eldridge, John, Coronavirus and the Law of Obligations (July 01, 2020). UNSW Law Journal Forum, No. 3, 2020, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 20/41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3657678

Michael Douglas

The University of Western Australia Law School ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/person/michael.c.douglas

John Eldridge (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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