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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 14, 2020

Common Law Codification: Lessons and Warnings from Twenty-First Century Australia

  • Mark Lunney EMAIL logo


Codification of tort law is a rare phenomenon in the common law world. However, building on earlier precedents, in the early 2000s, Australian jurisdictions embarked on a project of placing important general principles of negligence law into legislation. This article considers these provisions and argues that they can be considered as an attempt to codify certain parts of the law of tort. Both the process by which this codification took place, and the contents of the ‘codes’, provide interesting comparative material for civilian jurisdictions with codified tort law as well as for common law systems.


This article is adapted from the author's keynote address at the 18th Annual Conference on European Tort Law, Vienna, Austria on 25-27 April 2019. My thanks are due to helpful comments and discussions with attendees.

Published Online: 2020-01-14
Published in Print: 2020-01-10

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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