CRCJ 3003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Reasonable Person

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LAWS 2202
Jan 13
Law legal studies and obligations
-social contract: society operates on a set of rules that can be conceived as a contract.
-between the people and government
-divided by rights and responsibilities
-responsibilities: taxes
-obligations refer to relationship between individuals. State supported or enforced sanctions during
conflicts between legal persons.
-functions of private law in society
-redistribution of harm: breach of obligations. In tort this is normally a direct physical harm. In contract
law it is about broken promises. Could also include unjust enrichment.
Basic features
-determination that one party is harmed and that another is fully or partially responsible for it. The harm
is the reduced or shared between parties.
-responsibility or fault can be shared.
-no single “code” for tort law. Various sources, but mainly based on precedence.
-laws and regulation are drawn but not completely depended upon
-breaching of rules is not determining factor, but it is considered. (ex: not wearing seatbelt doesn’t mean
automatically some fault will be placed on you, but it will be admitted in court)
Types of tort
-intentional: more resembles criminal law since it requires “guilty mind”
-unintentional: intent is not considered.
-When thinking about negligence is the standard by which we judge actions.
-reasonable person: abstract concept about how a reasonably informed person would have done in that
situation.
-this concept is different from a subjective test. Does not look at a person’s abilities, knowledge and
characteristics.
-this test is sometimes adjusted. If experts are involved, then the reasonable standard test could be
shifted to create the “reasonable” behaviour of an expert in that field
Reasonable person
-at the time this test was created, law was dominated by white men.
-This concept needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the concept
-a construct, not an average.
Duties and Negligence
-negligence caused should be compensated and harm should be diverted to negligent party
-duty of care: normally the first question asked
-standard of care: if you owe a duty, what is the standard a person should be held to? Essentially, what
is the duty of care that should be given? Did the action or inaction cause harm. Can be direct link or
indirect link. The more direct the chain, the higher the fault.
-Remoteness: if causal chain is found, then degree of directness is measured.
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