Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2012 (Evening)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html


This unit will build upon the study of Torts in the undergraduate and JD programs and will explore a series of controversial contemporary issues in relation to tortious liability. It will locate the current tort liability system within the controversies leading up the insurance crisis and the Ipp Report, followed by the substantial legislative changes to tortious liability throughout Australia. It will explore current issues in occupiers' liability and will scrutinise the limited protection given to apologies under s14J of the Wrongs Act 1958. It will examine the evolving law in relation to intentional torts. It will survey the role of the sine qua non concept of causation, the policy component of causation determination and the retreat from "common sense" tests. It will scrutinise issues of professional liability and economic torts. It will also discuss the re-emergence of the "normal fortitude" rule in relation to psychiatric injury compensability. It will reflect upon the operation of the doctrine of voluntary assumption of risk.

The unit will also look to the complex jurisprudence that has evolved in relation to compensability under s85B of the Sentencing Act 1991 as an alternative to personal injury or intentional tort actions.


  1. The evolution of contemporary tort litigation since the Ipp statutory reforms.
  2. A sophisticated understanding of general, aggravated and exemplary damages.
  3. The role of apology.
  4. Changes in the concept of causation in tort.
  5. Issues in relation to compensability for psychiatric injuries.
  6. Misfeasance in public office.
  7. Intentional torts.
  8. Occupiers' liability.
  9. The role of actions under s85B of the Sentencing Act.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Ian Freckleton SC

Contact hours

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)


LAW2201 Torts A and LAW2202 Torts B (or equivalent); or
LAW7266 Principles of torts (or equivalent)