Neil Foster, ‘Statutes and Civil Liability in the Commonwealth and the United States: A Comparative Critique’

Both the major “common law” systems of private law allow breach of a criminal statute to inform or create civil liability. This paper discusses the differences and similarities between the Commonwealth jurisdictions and the United States of America in this somewhat under-theorised area. The aim is not to resolve all the problems presented by the jurisprudence and commentary on these various forms of action, but to provide a starting point for comparison between the approaches that the two systems have adopted on this issue of implied statutory civil liability. It is hoped that a proper understanding of the development of the law, and the current differences between the two systems, may illuminate the choices that courts have made, and perhaps illustrate some of the major differences that exist between the Commonwealth and the United States in the area of tort law. A better understanding of both the similarities and the differences may help commentators and courts to avoid the problems that can be created by assuming that the law in one system is the same as the other. Each system may find that it can learn from the other.

Neil J Foster. “Statutes and Civil Liability in the Commonwealth and the United States: A Comparative Critique“. Sixth Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations: Challenging Orthodoxy. Faculty of Law at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. July 2012. Bepress.

First posted 2012-10-08 08:53:56

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