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Tort Law in Hong Kong

Tort Law in Hong Kong: An Introductory Guide

Stephen D. Mau
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Tort Law in Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    This is one in a series of books providing readers with an overview of the more frequently encountered legal principles. This book focuses on the common law tort principles which apply in the territory. As a basic version, this publication provides a general introduction. This book's organizational structure reflects this intention. The text is kept short and easy to read with Chinese translations provided of most legal terms. An extensive endnote section provides readers who seek more details with comprehensive and in-depth explanations. A detailed Table of Contents serves as a convenient outline while the exhaustive Index seeks to make the book more user-friendly and convenient to use. This work is oriented for an audience which would include, for example: general students required to study legal subjects; foreign-based non-law professionals needing an overview of the relevant subject; local professionals whose work involves interaction with legal matters; and, the general public.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-583-3
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Table of Cases
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  5. Table of Legislation
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This book is about tort and the general legal principles which apply in this area of law. Instead of being a specialized textbook for law students, this book aims to introduce tort law to readers from different fields such as construction, accountancy, social work, and, foreign-based individuals from countries whose legal systems are based upon the civil law legal system.

    This publication will not cover all kinds of tort. This book will cover tort that are, in general, governed by the common law. However, for certain types of tort that are statute-based, such tort will be reviewed briefly but not...

  7. 2 Types
    (pp. 5-8)

    Tort may be classified in several ways. For the purposes of this book, tort will be classified into the following three categories:

    Intentional tort: where a person intended the consequences of the act. Examples include assault, battery or false imprisonment.¹

    Negligence: where a person is careless. For instance, if a defendant deliberately throws a stone at the plaintiff and hits the plaintiff, the defendant has committed an intentional tort. If the defendant intentionally throws a stone at a tree, but misses and hits the plaintiff, the defendant may be negligent.²

    Strict liability: where a person’s conduct was neither intentional nor...

  8. 3 Tort of Negligence
    (pp. 9-30)

    The tort of negligence is the right to protect one’s self and one’s property from harm caused by the unreasonable behaviour of another.¹ Negligence is defined as carelessness or lack of proper care and attention in performing some act.² A person is negligent even if that individual, as a tortfeasor, did not intend the consequences of the act, but instead acted indifferently to (or, was unaware of) the consequences.³ Another authority has compared the nature of negligence with other categories of tort:

    Negligence is a specific tort and … is the failure to exercise that care which the circumstances demand....

  9. 4 Defences to the Tort of Negligence
    (pp. 31-36)

    Recall that tort law may involve both a civil case and a criminal case arising from the same act. In a civil case, the burden of proving liability is lower than in a criminal case. The injured party in a civil case must prove all the elements of the tort of negligence on the balance of probabilities standard; otherwise, the plaintiff has failed to prove its case and the defendant is free of liability. A tortfeasor may make a claim in its defence which would exonerate the defendant from full or partial liability for the injury caused to the plaintiff....

  10. 5 Other Tortious Liabilities
    (pp. 37-78)

    There are various other forms of tortious liability not based upon the neighbour principle laid down in Donoghue v Stevenson:

    (a) vicarious liability

    (b) breach of statutory duty

    (c) employer’s liability to workers

    (d) occupier’s liability

    (e) nuisance

    (f) trespass to the person

    (g) trespass to land

    (h) defamation

    We will now discuss each of these in turn.

    “Vicarious liability is legal responsibility imposed on a person for the torts of others, regardless of any fault on the part of the non-tortfeasor.”¹ Vicarious liability is conceptually similar to strict liability in tort. Under vicarious liability, an employer’s liability does not...

  11. 6 Damages
    (pp. 79-86)

    In previous sections, various types of torts were introduced. The duties and obligations arising under these torts were briefly analysed. The breach of these duties or obligations and defenses, if any, available to the wrongdoer were then presented. In this section, a brief introduction will be made as to the types of damages which a successful plaintiff can recover against a defendant in a tort action.¹

    [T] he overriding principle in the award of damages in tort law (whether for personal injury or property damage) is restitutio in integrum. This simply means full compensation - that the plaintiff should be...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 87-134)
  13. References
    (pp. 135-136)
  14. Index
    (pp. 137-140)