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A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations$
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David Ibbetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198764113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.001.0001

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10. The Law of Torts in the Twentieth Century: Expansion and Collapse of the Tort of Negligence

10. The Law of Torts in the Twentieth Century: Expansion and Collapse of the Tort of Negligence

Chapter:
(p.188) 10. The Law of Torts in the Twentieth Century: Expansion and Collapse of the Tort of Negligence
Source:
A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations
Author(s):

D. J. IBBETSON

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.003.0011

The tort law of negligence was thoroughly fragmented in the 19th century. This chapter shows how, in the 20th century, the practice moved in the direction of theory as the tendency towards fragmentation was reversed. Detailed duties of care were superseded by a single duty of care. The component parts of the tort—duty, breach, remoteness—increasingly merged into each other. Moreover, it no longer seemed self-evident that there should be a link between legal liability and wrongdoing, with the result that the idea of negligence as a failure to take the care that would have been taken by a reasonable man began to degenerate back to an undifferentiated notion of blameworthiness.

Keywords:   tort law, negligence, duty, breach, remoteness, duty of care

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