Accessorial liability in the law of torts

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Journal Article

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Dietrich, J. (2010). Accessorial liability in the law of torts. Legal Studies, 31(2), 231-258.

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2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 180126

© Copyright 2010 The Author. Legal Studies © 2010 The Society of Legal Scholars. Published by Blackwell Publishing.


This paper considers the scope and limits of accessorial liability in the law of torts. It argues that the issue has been under-analysed, in part because such liability is encompassed under the label of 'joint tortfeasorship'. Analysis of the question of accessorial liability needs to focus on two questions: what is the requisite involvement of the 'accessory' and what is the requisite mental state of the accessory when committing those acts? The paper seeks to define the precise limits of these two requirements and argues, after an analysis of the English and Australian authorities, that the current tests for accessorial liability, in rejecting liability for 'mere' assistance, are too narrowly stated.

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This document has been peer reviewed.