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James Goudkamp

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Associate Professor of Law

James Goudkamp is Fellow of Keble College and Associate Professor in the Oxford Law Faculty. His expertise is principally in tort law, but his research interests span the law of obligations and extend also to civil procedure. 

James completed undergraduate degrees in science and law at the University of Wollongong, taking the law degree with first class honours and the University Medal. 

James then studied for the Bachelor of Civil Law and Master of Philosophy of Law at Magdalen College, Oxford, taking both degrees with distinction. He continued continued his studies at Magdalen and submitted a thesis on tort law defences to earn the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He published a descendent of this thesis as a monograph: James Goudkamp, Tort Law Defences (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2013). This book was as the Joint Runner Up for the Society of Legal Scholars Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2014.

James was previously a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford (2011-2013), the Shaw Foundation Junior Research Fellow in Law, Jesus College, Oxford (2009-2011), Lecturer in Law, St Hilda's College, Oxford (2008-2009), Associate to the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG of the High Court of Australia (2005-2006) and Associate Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong (2003-2005).

James holds or has held visiting positions at Harvard Law School, the Inner Temple, the National University of Singapore, the University of Western Australia and the University of Wollongong. 

James is available to supervise research students in any area of tort law (and certain other parts of the law of obligations) or civil procedure.


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Journal Articles


J Goudkamp and J Murphy, 'Tort Statutes and Tort Theories' (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review (forthcoming)


J Goudkamp, 'The Young Report: An Australian Perspective on the Latest Response to Britain's "Compensation Culture" ' (2012) 28 Journal of Professional Negligence 4


J Goudkamp, 'Insanity as a Tort Defence' (2011) 31 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 727

J Goudkamp, 'Litigation tourism: Suing in the UK in respect of torts committed in Australia' (2011) 107 Precedent 8

J Goudkamp, 'Recent Developments in the Statutory Illegality Defences' (2011) 7 Australian Civil Liability 121


J Goudkamp, 'Self-Defence and Illegality Under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) ' (2010) 18 Torts Law Journal 61

J Goudkamp, 'The Defence of Joint Illegal Enterprise' (2010) 34 Melbourne University Law Review 425


J Goudkamp, 'Bad Character Evidence and Reprehensible Behaviour' (2008) 12 International Journal of Evidence and Proof 116


J Goudkamp, 'A Revival of the Doctrine of Attainder? The Statutory Illegality Defences to Liability in Tort' (2007) 29 Sydney Law Review 445

J Goudkamp, 'Judicial Bias and the Doctrine of Waiver ' (2007) 26 Civil Justice Quarterly 310


J Goudkamp, 'Can Tort Law be Used to Deflect the Impact of Criminal Sanctions? The Role of the Illegality Defence' (2006) 14 Tort Law Journal 20


J Goudkamp, 'Negligence and Especially Capable Defendants: Does the Objective Standard of Care Cut Both Ways?' (2004) 12 Tort Law Review 111

J Goudkamp, 'Securing Access to Sunlight: The Role of Planning Law in New South Wales' (2004) 9 Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy 59

J Goudkamp, 'The Spurious Relationship between Moral Blameworthiness and Liability for Negligence' (2004) 28 Melbourne University Law Review 342


J Goudkamp, 'Proportionate Liability in Building and Subdivision Cases' (2003) 8 Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy 179


J Goudkamp, 'Is there a Future for Advocates' Immunity?' (2002) 10 Tort Law Review 188



E Peel and J Goudkamp, Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (Sweet & Maxwell 2014)


J Goudkamp, Tort Law Defences (Hart Publishing 2013) [...]

The law of torts recognises many defences to liability. While some of these defences have been explored in detail, scant attention has been given to the theoretical foundations of defences generally. In particular, no serious attempt has been made to explain how defences relate to each other or to the torts to which they pertain. The goal of this book is to reduce the size of this substantial gap in our understanding of tort law. The principal way in which it attempts to do so is by developing a taxonomy of defences. The book shows that much can be learned about a given defence from the way in which it is classified.

ISBN: 9781849462914



J Goudkamp and Charles Mitchell, 'Denials and Defences in the Law of Unjust Enrichment' in Charles Mitchell and William Swadling (eds), The Restatement Third, Restitution and Unjust Enrichment: Comparative and Critical Essays (Hart Publishing 2013)

J Goudkamp, 'Rethinking Contributory Negligence' in Erika Chamberlain, Jason Neyers and Stephen Pitel (eds), Challenging Orthodoxy in Tort Law (Hart Publishing 2013)


J Goudkamp, 'Defences to Intentional Torts to the Person' in J Murphy and C Witting (eds), Street on Torts (Oxford University Press 2012)

J Goudkamp, 'Defences to Negligence' in J Murphy and C Witting (eds), Street on Torts (Oxford University Press 2012)

J Goudkamp, 'Statutes and Tort Defences' in Jenny Steele and TT Arvind (eds), Tort Law and the Legislature: Common Law, Statute and the Dynamics of Legal Change (Hart Publishing 2012)


J Goudkamp, 'A Taxonomy of Tort Law Defences' in S Degeling, J Edelman and J Goudkamp (eds), Torts in Commercial Law (Lawbook Co 2011)

J Goudkamp, 'Defences to Negligence' in Carolyn Sappideen and Prue Vines (eds), Fleming on the Law of Torts (Lawbook Co 2011)

J Edelman, J Goudkamp and S Degeling, 'The Foundations of Torts in Commercial Law' in Torts in Commercial Law (Lawbook Co 2011)

Edited books


A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Tort (Hart Publishing 2014)


S Degeling, J Edelman and J Goudkamp (eds), Torts in Commercial Law (Lawbook Co 2011)

Case Notes


J Goudkamp, 'The Defence of Illegality in Tort Law: Wither the Rule in Pitts v Hunt?' (2012) Cambridge Law Journal


J Goudkamp, 'Contributory Negligence and Trespass to the Person' (2011) 27 Law Quarterly Review 518

J Goudkamp, 'Ex Turpi Causa and Immoral Behaviour in Tort Law' (2011) 27 Law Quarterly Review 354

J Goudkamp, 'The Illegality Defence in the Law of Negligence after Miller v Miller' (2011) 7 Australian Civil Liability 130


J Goudkamp, 'Negligence and Defendants with Special Skills' (2010) Cambridge Law Journal 8


J Goudkamp, 'Apparent Bias: Helow v Secretary of State for the Home Department' (2009) 28 Civil Justice Quarterly 183

J Goudkamp, 'The Defence of Illegality: Gray v Thames Trains Ltd' (2009) 17 Torts Law Journal 205


J Goudkamp, 'Facing up to Actual Bias' (2008) 27 Civil Justice Quarterly 32

J Goudkamp, 'When is a Risk of Injury Foreseeable' (2008) 124 Law Quarterly Review 37


J Goudkamp, 'Delay in Commencing Proceedings within the Limitation Period in Australia' (2007) 26 Civil Justice Quarterly 185

J Goudkamp, 'Litigation Privilege: Timeless or Transient? Blank v Canada (Minister of Justice) ' (2007) 11 International Journal of Evidence and Proof 322



J Goudkamp, 'Michael Kirby: Paradoxes & Principles' (2012) University of Western Australia Law Review


Teaching: Roman Law; Tort; Trusts; Philosophy of Law; Civil Procedure; Contract

Research: Tort law; civil procedure; commercial law; criminal law

Other details

Mooting Co-ordinator

Correspondence address:

Keble College
Oxford, OX1 3PG

Link to personal web site

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