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Abstract

Through doctrinal analysis, this article examines the restricted Australian common law and statutory approach to the duty of care of hoteliers to patrons consuming alcohol on their premises. By comparing with the comparable jurisdiction of Canada, this article demonstrates the dramatic impact that the Australian focus on ‘personal responsibility’ has on the denial of a duty of care of hoteliers in our jurisdiction. A normative discussion then follows of the negative social impact of the focus on personal responsibility within the legislature and judiciary, before concluding that the shift of some responsibility to hoteliers for their serving practices would not impact the overall goal of personal responsibility, but would work in tandem with liquor licensing legislation to address the prominent social issue of alcohol related harm.

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