Outline the nature of the principle of vicarious liability in tort

This work is about the principle of vicarious liability and covers the various approaches or tests which have evolved to determine liability.

Grade: A-C | £0.00.

Although the essay is primarily concerned with the nature of how liability arises it does hint at some of the criticisms of the principle which may now be raised.


The essay outlines the principles concerning the position of the wrongdoer as employee and that the tort itself must occur in the course of employment.  We then go on to review the basic tests used by the courts to determine whether the wrongdoer is an employee.  The basic tests include the control test, the integration test and the economic reality test.

A number of well known cases are referred to and these include:  Performing Rights Society v Mitchell (1924); Short v Henderson (1946); Mersey Docks & Harbour Board v Coggins and Griffiths (1947); Hawley v Luminar Leisure Plc (2005); Stevenson, Jordan and Harrison Ltd v Mc Donald and Evans (1952); Ready Mixed concrete Ltd v Minister of Pensions (1968) and others.

The vexed question of whether the tort took place within the course of employment is also discussed.  Authorised and unauthorised acts are mentioned together with examples.  We look at situations where the wrongful acts are not within the course of employment, for instance, where an employee goes off on a 'frolic of his own'.

Although this work provides an outline, there is plenty of scope for you to develop and expand certain areas to meet your particular requirements.

(Word count 1538)


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