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Worcester College

Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HB, UK

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Biography

Donal Nolan is Professor of Private Law in the University of Oxford and Francis Reynolds and Clarendon Fellow and Tutor in Law at Worcester College, Oxford. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (BA and BCL) and was previously a Lecturer in Law at King's College London. He has taught tort, contract, international trade law, restitution and commercial law, and has been a Visiting Professor in the University of Florida, the University of Trento and Sichuan University. He is a Senior Fellow of the University of Melbourne, a founding member of the World Tort Law Society, and an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI). He is also a member of the International Advisory Panel for the ALI's Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property, and a member of the editorial committee of the Modern Law Review.

Donal's research is focused primarily on the law of tort, and in particular on the law of negligence, the law of private nuisance and the interface between tort law and public law. He has recently undertaken a major empirical study of the operation of the contributory negligence doctrine with Professor James Goudkamp. He has also written on a range of topics in contract law, including offer and acceptance, estoppel and termination for breach of contract. Recent publications include: 'Injunctions' in Day and Worthington (eds), Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court (Hart 2020); 'Pioneers, Consolidators and Iconoclasts: The Story of Tort Scholarship' (with James Goudkamp) and 'Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953)', both in Goudkamp and Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019); 'Assumption of Responsibility: Four Questions' (2019) 72 CLP; 'The Duty of Care After Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police' in Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 9: 2017-2018 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2019); 'The Essence of Private Nuisance' in McFarlane and Agnew (eds), Modern Studies in Property Law, Volume 10 (Hart 2019); 'Tort and Public Law: Overlapping Categories?' (2019) 135 LQR 172; and (with James Goudkamp) Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century (OUP 2019) and Contributory Negligence: Principles and Practice (OUP 2018).

Donal is a co-author of Lunney, Nolan and Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (OUP, 6th edn, 2017) and Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (Sweet & Maxwell, 20th edn, 2020), and a co-editor of Rights and Private Law (Hart 2012), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart 2019) and OSCOLA, the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities. He is also a contributor to Burrows (ed), Principles of the English Law of Obligations (OUP 2015); Oliphant (ed), The Law of Tort (LexisNexis Butterworths, 3rd edn, 2015); Sappideen and Vines (eds), Fleming's The Law of Torts (Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia, 10th edn, 2011); and Bridge (ed), Benjamin's Sale of Goods (Sweet & Maxwell, 11th edn, 2020).

Position Description

Professor of Private Law

Publications

Featured publications

  • Donal Nolan, 'Economic Duress and the Availability of a Reasonable Alternative' (2000) Restitution Law Review 105 [Case Note]
    An extended commentary on the decision of Mance J in Huyton SA v Peter Cremer Gmbh & Co [1999] 1 Lloyds Rep 620.
    ISBN: 1351-170X
  • Donal Nolan, 'Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953)' in James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
    This chapter is concerned with Sir Percy Winfield, arguably the most influential scholar of the English law of tort in the relatively short history of the subject. The chapter is divided into three main parts. The first part (‘The Life’) consists of a short biography of Winfield. In the second part (‘The Work’), I discuss Winfield’s principal writings on tort law, their reception and their influence. And in the final part (‘The Scholar’), I seek to identify Winfield’s key characteristics as a scholar. I conclude that a number of reasons can be identified for the impact and endurance of Winfield’s writings on tort: his technical brilliance; his intellectual openness; his clear and attractive style; his prescience and forward-thinking approach; his thoroughgoing pragmatism; and a measure of good fortune. Underlying all of this, however, lay an even more basic foundation for his scholarly achievements, namely a profound and very broad knowledge of the common law and its history.
    ISBN: 9781509910571

Chapter (41)

Id: 12436
Donal Nolan, 'Injunctions' in William Day and Sarah Worthington (eds), Challenging Private Law: Lord Sumption on the Supreme Court (Hart Publishing 2020)
This chapter is concerned with the availability of injunctions in nuisance cases following Coventry v Lawrence. In that case, the Supreme Court introduced a more flexible approach to the exercise of the discretion to refuse an injunction and significantly degraded the authority of the Court of Appeal decision in Shelfer v City of London Electric Lighting Co. I consider the previous case law and academic writing on the topic, as well as arguments for and against a radical reappraisal of the role of the injunction remedy. I also consider whether the more general shift away from the Shelfer criteria towards a broader discretion is to be welcomed, and which factors should be taken into account when that discretion is exercised. I conclude that while there are good reasons why injunctions should continue to be the default remedy in cases of continuing wrongs, the remedial flexibility signaled in Coventry is to be welcomed. I also argue that, in determining whether to issue an injunction, the courts should take into account at least three factors in addition to more well-established considerations: (1) the possibility that injunctive relief will incentivise the defendant to seek out alternative beneficial ameliorative measures; (2) whether the claimant’s motivation in litigating is primarily financial; and (3) the ease of assessing damages in lieu of an injunction on the facts.
ISBN: 9781509934874
Id: 12281
Donal Nolan, 'Tort and Public Law: A Common Law Perspective' in Nelson Rosenvald and Carlos Eduardo Pianovski Ruzyk (eds), Novas Fronteiras da Responsabilidade Civil: Direito Comparado (Editora Foco 2020)
ISBN: 9786555150896
Id: 12282
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Pioneers, Consolidators and Iconoclasts: The Story of Tort Scholarship' in James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
In this introductory chapter to the edited collection Scholars of Tort Law the editors provide an overview of the contributions made by the scholars discussed in the book and divide them into three categories: pioneers, consolidators and iconoclasts.
ISBN: 9781509910571
Id: 11136
Donal Nolan, 'Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953)' in James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
This chapter is concerned with Sir Percy Winfield, arguably the most influential scholar of the English law of tort in the relatively short history of the subject. The chapter is divided into three main parts. The first part (‘The Life’) consists of a short biography of Winfield. In the second part (‘The Work’), I discuss Winfield’s principal writings on tort law, their reception and their influence. And in the final part (‘The Scholar’), I seek to identify Winfield’s key characteristics as a scholar. I conclude that a number of reasons can be identified for the impact and endurance of Winfield’s writings on tort: his technical brilliance; his intellectual openness; his clear and attractive style; his prescience and forward-thinking approach; his thoroughgoing pragmatism; and a measure of good fortune. Underlying all of this, however, lay an even more basic foundation for his scholarly achievements, namely a profound and very broad knowledge of the common law and its history.
ISBN: 9781509910571
Id: 11137
Donal Nolan, 'The Duty of Care After Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police' in Daniel Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook, Volume 9: 2017–2018 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2019)
In this chapter I consider the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police for the duty of care question in negligence. I argue that the unequivocal rejection of the so-called Caparo three-stage test in Lord Reed’s leading judgment in Robinson amounts to a clear signal from the Supreme Court to courts at all levels that the test should no longer be used to determine the existence of a duty of care in any negligence case. I also argue that the approach to the duty question taken by Lord Reed is not only the best of the alternatives available, but the only approach that is consistent with common law method and the rule of law. The legal nature of the duty of care issue requires the courts to do as Lord Reed says they should, and to work with the relevant authorities to determine whether the case is covered by binding precedent, and, if not, to reason by analogy and by reference to relevant considerations in order to decide whether or not a duty of care is owed. I also seek to explain why exactly it is that general tests of duty, such as the Caparo test, inevitably fail. I conclude that the decision in Robinson has the potential to usher in a new era in the troubled history of the duty of care, one marked by greater transparency, predictability and consistency.
ISBN: 978-1-911250-18-0
Id: 11013
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence and Professional Negligence: An Empirical Perspective ' in Kit Barker and Ross Grantham (eds), Apportionment in Private Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
Although contributory negligence is usually associated with accident cases, it is frequently pleaded by defendants who have been sued for negligence in the performance of their professional duties, and yet very little is known about the impact of the doctrine in professional negligence litigation. In this chapter, we seek to fill this gap, by means of both empirical and qualitative analysis of recent contributory negligence case law in the United Kingdom. This analysis suggests that there are certain distinctive features of the operation of the contributory negligence doctrine in the professional negligence context.
ISBN: 9781509917501
Id: 10489
Donal Nolan, 'The Essence of Private Nuisance' in Ben McFarlane and Sinead Agnew (eds), Modern Studies in Property Law, Volume 10 (Hart Publishing 2019)
One meaning of the word ‘essence’ is the feature or set of features that defines a thing. My claim in this chapter is that the essence of the tort of private nuisance in this sense is interference with (or impairment of) the usability of the claimant’s land. Although this claim is merely a clarification of the orthodox definition or conception of the tort, the clarification turns out to be significant. Furthermore, while this central defining feature of private nuisance is well-established, it has been the subject of very little sustained analysis, and one of the aims of this chapter is to begin the task of plugging that gap. And finally, the orthodox conception of private nuisance has come under attack recently, and there is a danger that without a robust defence of it the coherence and utility of the tort will be compromised. In this chapter I seek to provide such a defence. The chapter is divided into three main parts. In the first part, I show how orthodox it is to define private nuisance by reference to interference with the use and enjoyment of land, seek to clarify this defining idea as concerned with the abstract usability of the land, and consider the implications of this analysis for the scope of the private nuisance action. In the second part, I summarise and then critique a recent challenge to the orthodox conception of the tort, which I call the ‘physical invasion’ view. And in the final part, I briefly consider some of the implications for property theory of the orthodox conception of private nuisance, properly understood.
ISBN: 9781509921379
Id: 10615
Donal Nolan, 'Nuisance' in Clare Blanchard et al (ed), Halsbury's Laws of England (5th edn), vol. 78 (LexisNexis 2018)
ISBN: 9781474309486
Id: 10051
Donal Nolan, 'A Public Law Tort: Understanding Misfeasance in Public Office' in Kit Barker et al (ed), Private Law and Power (Hart Publishing 2017)
This chapter provides a theoretical analysis of the tort of misfeasance in public office. The current vitality of the tort is attested to by the frequency with which it appears in the law reports, and by the spirited opposition which met a (subsequently abandoned) proposal by the Law Commission of England and Wales that the cause of action be abolished. However, although case law has clarified the scope and elements of the cause of action for misfeasance, academic commentary demonstrates that the underlying nature of the tort remains highly contested. In this chapter, I argue that misfeasance in public office is best understood as a distinctively public law tort, put forward a public law rationale for its recognition, and consider some analogous legal doctrines. I also critique two rival conceptions of the cause of action, which I call the ‘tort law’ conception and the ‘private law’ conception. Finally, I consider some practical implications of my analysis for the future development of the tort.
ISBN: 9781509905997
Id: 8390
Id: 9177
Donal Nolan and others, 'Product Liability in Europe' in Helmut Koziol et al (ed), Product Liability: Fundamental Questions in a Comparative Perspective (World Tort Law Society/De Gruyter 2017)
DOI: 10.1515/9783110547559-012
A general summary of the product liability regimes in a number of European countries (including the UK), followed by discussion of three example product liability cases from a European perspective.
ISBN: 978-3-11-054600-2
Id: 9171
Id: 4248
Donal Nolan, 'Nuisance, Planning and Regulation: The Limits of Statutory Authority' in Andrew Dyson, James Goudkamp and Frederick Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Tort (Hart Publishing 2015)
In this chapter, I examine the defence of statutory authority in the law of private nuisance. I argue that if we let our guard down, the de facto extension of the defence could put at risk the continued vitality of private nuisance as a cause of action. Recent developments in the law of private nuisance have threatened in effect to extend the defence of statutory authority to encompass the defendant’s compliance with regulatory regimes governing his activity, and at least some instances in which planning permission has been granted for the use of land causing the alleged nuisance. I argue that there are fundamental objections to these de facto extensions of statutory authority, and that they are inconsistent with core features or aspects of that defence. The core message of the chapter is summed up by Tony Weir’s characteristically pithy remark that ‘administrators cannot authorise torts’.
ISBN: 978-1849465267
Id: 4249
Donal Nolan and John Davies, 'Torts and Equitable Wrongs' in Andrew Burrows (ed), Principles of the English Law of Obligations (OUP 2015)
ISBN: 9780198746232
Id: 9180
Alastair Mullis and Donal Nolan, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2012 (Butterworths LexisNexis 2013)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2012.
ISBN: 9781405778503
Id: 4250
Donal Nolan and John Davies, 'Torts and Equitable Wrongs' in Andrew Burrows (ed), English Private Law (3rd edn) (OUP 2013)
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661770.003.0017
ISBN: 978-0-19-966177-0
Id: 4251
Donal Nolan, 'The Fatal Accidents Act 1846' in TT Arvind and Jenny Steele (eds), Tort Law and the Legislature: Common Law, Statute and the Dynamics of Legal Change (Hart Publishing 2012)
This chapter is a historical analysis of the Fatal Accidents Act 1846, which for the first time gave the relatives of a person who had been wrongfully killed a right to compensation from the wrongdoer. I argue that criticisms of the 1846 Act are largely groundless, and that giving the relatives of the deceased claims in tort was a pragmatic and rational response to the problem of wrongful death in the mid-nineteenth century. Furthermore, I argue that from the standpoint of legal analysis, the formula for recovery employed in the legislation was appropriate and effective, and that the legislation was a progressive measure, which had beneficial social effects. It is shown that the immediate catalyst for the legislation was the desire to protect the interests of the families of those who perished in mining accidents, and more generally it is argued that the passage of the Act was motivated by the humanitarian desire to reduce the incidence of fatal accidents and to make provision for those affected by them when they did occur. I conclude that the advent of the wrongful death action was an important and welcome development in the law of tort, which was appropriately brought about through legislative intervention.
ISBN: 9781849461405
Id: 4253
Alastair Mullis and Donal Nolan, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2011 (Butterworths LexisNexis 2012)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2011.
Id: 4254
Donal Nolan, '"A Tort Against Land": Private Nuisance as a Property Tort' in Donal Nolan and Andrew Robertson (eds), Rights and Private Law (Hart Publishing 2011)
The thesis of this chapter is that private nuisance can only properly be understood as a tort which protects rights in land, and that, understood in this way, it is a thoroughly coherent cause of action. I begin by introducing this ‘property tort analysis’ of private nuisance and by providing a definition of the tort. The bulk of the chapter is then devoted to showing that the central doctrines of private nuisance law are consistent with the property tort analysis. In the remainder of the chapter, I look at the relationship between private nuisance and trespass to land, identify some sources of confusion which have served to obscure the underlying coherence of private nuisance and consider the implications of the property tort analysis for the traditional distinction between property and obligations. I finish off by making some more general observations about the value of a rights-based analysis of private law.
ISBN: 9781849461429
Id: 4255
Id: 4256
Donal Nolan, 'Nuisance' in David Hoffman (ed), The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law (CUP 2011)
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511920844.011
The purpose of this chapter is to explore the different aspects of the relationship between the tort of private nuisance and the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”). The chapter is divided into three main parts. In the first part, I consider the “vertical effect” of the HRA in environmental nuisance cases. In the second part of the chapter, I consider the relationship between the vertical effect of the HRA and the law of nuisance. In particular, I identify the advantages and disadvantages for a claimant of the two possible routes to redress, and the inter-relationship between the two types of claim when they arise on the same set of facts. And in the third and final part of the chapter, I consider the possible “horizontal effect” of the HRA on the law of nuisance itself, looking in particular at the standing rules and the statutory authority defence. I conclude that the horizontal effect of the HRA on the law of nuisance is likely to be very limited.
ISBN: 9781107009325
Id: 4257
Donal Nolan and Andrew Robertson, 'Rights and Private Law' in Donal Nolan and Andrew Robertson (eds), Rights and Private Law (Hart Publishing 2011)
This chapter provides an overview of the relationship between rights and private law. The chapter is structured as follows: in part II, we examine the meaning of ‘rights’ (or ‘rights-based’) analysis of private law; in part III, we examine the meaning of the term ‘right’ in this context; in part IV, we explore the normative implications of rights-based theories of private law; part V is concerned with the relationship between rights and duties; part VI focuses on the relationship between rights-based analysis and liability rules which are not triggered by wrongs; in part VII, we look at the implications of the rights-based approach for private law remedies; part VIII is concerned with the relationship between rights-based and policy-based reasoning in private law; in part IX, we explain the relationship between rights-based theories and corrective justice; in part X, we explore the implications of rights analysis for the taxonomy of private law; and in part XI we consider the role of the state in a rights-based understanding of private law.
ISBN: 9781849461429
Id: 4252
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2010 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2011)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2010.
ISBN: 9781405755726
Id: 4258
Donal Nolan, 'Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police (1991)' in Charles Mitchell and Paul Mitchell (eds), Landmark Cases in the Law of Tort (Hart Publishing 2010)
This chapter considers the landmark decision in Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1992] 1 AC 310 concerning liability for psychiatric injury, or ‘nervous shock’. In this chapter, I argue that Alcock was an essentially conservative decision, rather than the reactionary one which it is often assumed to have been, and hence that it is a landmark case not so much because it represented a significant change in the law’s direction, but because it codified or systematised what had come before. I also argue that the conservatism of Alcock was likely to have been influenced, not only by the facts of the case itself, but also by the large number of man-made disasters that occurred in the UK in the late 1980s, by developments in Australia and the United States, and by broader trends in English tort law. Finally, I critique the claim that in Alcock the House of Lords overstepped the proper limits of adjudication, and engaged in ‘judicial legislation’.
ISBN: 9781849460033
Id: 4259
Donal Nolan, 'Offer and Acceptance in the Electronic Age' in Andrew Burrows and Edwin Peel (eds), Contract Formation and Parties (OUP 2010)
This chapter explores the application of the ‘offer and acceptance’ rules in contract formation to new modes of communication. The analysis is structured around the technologies under scrutiny, and the chapter is therefore divided into two main parts, the first dealing with contracts formed by email exchanges, and the second with contracts formed through websites. The discussion suggests that there may be rather less to the legal issues surrounding electronic commerce than has sometimes been suggested. I argue that while the proliferation of electronic commerce raises some interesting questions about the precise mechanics of contract formation by email and through websites, the offer and acceptance model is likely to prove sufficiently flexible to accommodate these new forms of communication without great difficulty. By reasoning from first principles, and by analogy with the rules governing older means of communication, the courts should prove well able to deal with the issues posed by offer and acceptance in the Electronic Age.
ISBN: 9780199583706
Id: 4260
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2009 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2010)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2009.
Id: 4261
Donal Nolan, 'Causation and the Goals of Tort Law' in Andrew Robertson and Tang Hang Wu (eds), The Goals of Private Law (Hart Publishing 2009)
In this chapter, I explore the relationship between causation and the “goals” of tort law. My contention is that it is impossible to understand or to resolve difficult questions concerning causation unless it is appreciated that these issues go to the heart of what tort law is about. The chapter is divided into three parts. In the first part, I consider the problem of causal indeterminacy in tort law by reference to the leading English cases on the subject. In the second part of the chapter I look at the loss of a chance theory, according to which some cases of causal indeterminacy in tort law can be resolved by re-characterising the claimant’s injury as the loss of a chance of avoiding injury, as opposed to the injury itself. And in the third and final part of the chapter, I look at the relationship between causal indeterminacy and the “goals” of deterrence and compensation. In particular, I argue that recent developments in the English law on causation are only explicable by reference to these two goals, and that they also underlie the push towards recovery for lost chances. I finish by identifying some of the drawbacks of modifying tort law in this way in response to instrumentalist concerns.
ISBN: 9781841139098
Id: 4262
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2008 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2009)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2008.
Id: 4263
Donal Nolan, 'Hongkong Fir Shipping Co v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd, The Hongkong Fir (1961)' in Charles Mitchell and Paul Mitchell (eds), Landmark Cases in the Law of Contract (Hart Publishing 2008)
This chapter discusses the decision of the Court of Appeal in Hongkong Fir Shipping Co Ltd v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd, The Hong Kong Fir [1962] 2 QB 26, one of the most important English contract cases of the 20th century. In this analysis of the Hongkong Fir case I argue that close consideration of the case law, coupled with an appreciation of the historical background, reveals certain flaws in the current general understanding of the decision. In particular I argue, first, that the reasoning in the case was not as novel as has sometimes been suggested; secondly, that the most novel aspect of that reasoning (the suggestion that there was a third category of terms—later christened ‘innominate’ or ‘intermediate’ terms—alongside conditions and warranties) was not as central to the analysis as it is generally assumed to have been; and, thirdly, that another, very important, aspect of the reasoning in the case (the very strong connection between the rules governing discharge by frustration and discharge for breach) tends now to be overlooked.
ISBN: 9781841137599
Id: 4264
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2007 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2008)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-4057-2828-7
Id: 4265
Donal Nolan, 'Chapters on Government Liability, Product Liability, Nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher and Fire' in Ken Oliphant (ed), The Law of Tort (2nd edn) (LexisNexis Butterworths 2007)
ISBN: 9781405712408
Id: 4266
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2006 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2007)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2006.
ISBN: 9781405725286
Id: 4267
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2005 (LexisNexis Butterworths 2006)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2005.
ISBN: 1405714743
Id: 4268
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2004 (Butterworths 2005)
A summary of, and critical commentary on, the tort cases published in the All England Law Reports in 2004.
ISBN: 1-405-70360-1
Id: 4269
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2003 (Butterworths 2004)
A summary of English case law developments in the law of tort in 2003.
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2003.
ISBN: 406965439
Id: 4270
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2002 (Butterworths 2003)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2002.
ISBN: 406965439
Id: 4271
Donal Nolan, 'Chapters on Government Liability, Product Liability, Nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher and Fire' in Andrew Grubb (ed), The Law of Tort (Butterworths 2002)
ISBN: 406896720
Id: 4272
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2001 (Butterworths 2002)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2001.
ISBN: 406950423
Id: 4273
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 2000 (Butterworths 2001)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 2000.
ISBN: 406940967
Id: 4274
Donal Nolan and Alastair Mullis, 'Tort' in (ed), All England Law Reports Annual Review 1999 (Butterworths 2000)
A summary (with commentary) of tort cases reported in the All England Law Reports in 1999.
Id: 4275

Case Note (7)

Id: 12305
Donal Nolan, 'Strict Product Liability for Design Defects' (2018) 134 Law Quarterly Review 176 [Case Note]
A note discussing the decision of Hickinbottom J in Wilkes v DePuy International Ltd [2016] EWHC 3096 (QB), [2018] QB 627, which is now the leading case on the application of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in the case of an alleged design defect. It is argued in the note that the approach taken by Hickinbottom J to the issue of defectiveness should be seen as complementing or supplementing the guidance given in A v National Blood Authority [2001] 3 All ER 289, and that taken together with that earlier decision – and provided that due attention is paid to the significance of the standard/non-standard product distinction that the facts of the two cases encapsulate – the decision in Wilkes represents a solid foundation for future analysis of that issue under the strict product liability regime laid down by the 1987 Act. .
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 9822
Id: 4277
Id: 4278
Donal Nolan, 'Risks and Wrongs: Remoteness of Damage in the House of Lords' (2001) 9 Tort Law Review 101 [Case Note]
A note on the decision of the House of Lords in Jolley v Sutton LBC [2000] 1 WLR 1082.
ISBN: 1039-3285
Id: 4279
Donal Nolan, 'Economic Duress and the Availability of a Reasonable Alternative' (2000) Restitution Law Review 105 [Case Note]
An extended commentary on the decision of Mance J in Huyton SA v Peter Cremer Gmbh & Co [1999] 1 Lloyds Rep 620.
ISBN: 1351-170X
Id: 4280
Donal Nolan, 'Negligence Liability for Suicides in Custody' (2000) 8 Tort Law Review 91 [Case Note]
A note on the decision of the House of Lords in Reeves v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2000] 1 AC 360.
ISBN: 1039-3285
Id: 4281

Book (4)

James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort (20th edn Sweet & Maxwell 2020)
Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort has been the leading work on the subject since the first edition was published over 80 years ago, and with the publication of this twentieth edition it continues to be a clear, authoritative and comprehensive guide to this area of law. It is widely adopted for use by students, an invaluable resource for practitioners, and regarded in other legal systems as providing a definitive account of the English law of tort. For this edition, the entire text has been thoroughly updated and several chapters have been extensively rewritten. New in this edition: Discussion of hundreds of recent cases, including Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales, Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and Poole BC v GN (duty of care); Patel v Mirza (illegality); Wilkes v DePuy International (product liability); Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd (defamation); O v Rhodes (intentional infliction of physical or emotional harm); Willers v Joyce (malicious prosecution); JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov (No.14) (conspiracy); and five major Supreme Court decisions on vicarious liability and non-delegable duties, including Barclays Bank v Various Claimants and WM Morrison Supermarkets v Various Claimants. A new section on damage in the law of negligence, incorporating discussion of Dryden v Johnson Matthey. Comprehensive coverage of new legislation, as well as the impact on existing legislation of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. More extensive citation of academic commentary. Trusted by generations of students and practitioners throughout the common law world, Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort remains the leading textbook on the English law of tort.
ISBN: 9780414066212
Id: 12258
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century (OUP 2019)
Despite the centrality of the contributory negligence doctrine in practice, almost nothing is known about how it functions in reality. The authors, seeking to fill this deficit in understanding, have undertaken a wide-ranging empirical study of how the doctrine is handled by the courts. They report their methodology and findings in this volume, framing their discussion within the law of contributory negligence. The study is based on 572 first instance decisions on contributory negligence from across the United Kingdom decided between 2000 and 2016, and 129 appellate decisions handed down in the same period. The analysis considers the operation of the contributory negligence doctrine at first instance and on appeal, and in a range of contextual settings, including road accidents, accidents at work, and professional negligence claims. The authors also consider how the study can be used to inform future developments in this area of law. Substantial appendices set out the key data on which the book is based, enabling academics to utilize the dataset in their own research and allowing practitioners to compare their cases easily with previously decided claims.
ISBN: 9780198814245
Id: 10601
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, Contributory Negligence: Principles and Practice (OUP 2018)
Despite the centrality of the contributory negligence doctrine in practice, very little is known about how it functions in reality. This volume provides legal practitioners with a one-stop-shop where they can find a clear and succinct exposition of the legal principles governing contributory negligence alongside an empirically informed analysis of the way that the doctrine operates in various recurrent factual scenarios, based on cases decided between 1998 and 2017. For each of the given recurring acts of contributory negligence, the average discount, the range of discounts, and the distribution of discounts are reported. These statistics are supplemented by way of illustrations drawn from the case law. Short summaries of typical cases for the relevant act of contributory negligence are given, along with summaries of cases that fall towards the higher and lower ends of the range of discounts.
ISBN: 978019881423
Id: 10347
Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (6th edn OUP 2017)
Table of Contents 1: General introduction 2: Intentional interference with the person 3: Negligence - introduction 4: Breach of duty 5: Causation and scope of liability 6: Defences to negligence 7: Negligence: duty of care - psychiatric illness 8: Negligence: duty of care - economic loss 9: Negligence: duty of care - omissions and acts of third parties 10: Negligence: duty of care - public bodies 11: Special liability regimes 12: Nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher 13: Defamation 14: Privacy 15: Vicarious liability 16: Damages for personal injury 17: Death and damages 18: How tort works
ISBN: 9780198745525
Id: 8909

Edited Book (2)

James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan (eds), Scholars of Tort Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
The publication of Scholars of Tort Law marks the beginning of a long overdue rebalancing of private law scholarship. Instead of concentrating on judicial decisions and academic commentary only for what that commentary says about judicial decisions, the book explores the contributions of scholars of tort law in their own right. The work of a selection of leading scholars of tort law from across the common law world, ranging from Thomas Cooley (1824–1898) to Patrick Atiyah (1931–2018), is addressed by eminent current scholars in the field. The focus of the contributions is on the nature of the work produced by each of the scholars in question, important influences on their work, and the influence which that work in turn had on thinking about tort law. The process of subjecting tort law scholarship to sustained analysis provides new insights into the intellectual development of tort law and reveals the important role played by scholars in that development. By focusing on the work of influential tort scholars, the book serves to emphasise the importance of legal scholarship to the development of the common law more generally.
ISBN: 9781509910571
Id: 11135
Donal Nolan and Andrew Robertson (eds), Rights and Private Law (Hart Publishing 2011)
1. Rights and Private Law Donal Nolan and Andrew Robertson 2. Rights in Private Law Peter Cane 3. Our Most Fundamental Rights Allan Beever 4. Social Purposes, Fundamental Rights and the Judicial Development of Private Law François du Bois 5. Rights and Other Things Robert Stevens 6. Beyond 'Right' and 'Duty': Lundstedt's Theory of Obligations TT Arvind 7. Of Rights Superstructural, Inchoate and Triangular: The Role of Rights in Blackstone's Commentaries Helge Dedek 8. Rule-Based Rights and Court-Ordered Rights Stephen A Smith 9. Rights and Responsibility in the Law of Torts John CP Goldberg and Benjamin C Zipursky 10. Damages and Rights Andrew Burrows 11. Explaining the Inexplicable? Four Manifestations of Abuse of Rights in English Law JW Neyers 12. Rights and the Basis of Tort Law Nicholas J McBride 13. Is the Role of Tort to Repair Wrongful Losses? Gregory C Keating 14. The Edges of Tort Law's Rights Roderick Bagshaw 15. Rights, Pluralism and the Duty of Care Andrew Robertson 16. 'A Tort Against Land': Private Nuisance as a Property Tort Donal Nolan 17. Private Nuisance Law: A Window on Substantive Justice Richard W Wright 18. Rights and Wrongs: An Introduction to the Wrongful Interference Actions Sarah Green 19. Misfeasance in a Public Office: A Justifiable Anomaly within the Rights-Based Approach? Erika Chamberlain 20. Unjust Enrichment, Rights and Value Ben McFarlane 21. Rights and Value in Rescission: Some Implications for Unjust Enrichment Elise Bant
ISBN: 9781849461429
Id: 4276

Journal Article (20)

Donal Nolan, 'Assumption of Responsibility: Four Questions' (2019) 72 Current Legal Problems 123
DOI: 10.1093/clp/cuz002
Although the assumption of responsibility concept pervades the English law of negligence, its meaning remains hazy and its significance contested. While the courts employ the language of assumption of responsibility on a regular basis, no clear judicial definition of it has emerged. And commentators are divided as to whether assumption of responsibility is a distinct ground on which liability is imposed, or merely a foil for policy arguments – or for another, more general, test for the recognition of duties of care. Matters are complicated by the fact that assumption of responsibility does not fit neatly within the orthodox categories of ‘tort’ and ‘contract’, but hovers uncertainly between the two. The aim of this article is to try to bring some clarity to the controversies surrounding assumption of responsibility. Four questions frame the analysis. What does assumption of responsibility mean? When does it matter? Why do we need it? And where does it belong? Although the answers to some of these questions are necessarily tentative, at least one conclusion should become clear, namely that assumption of responsibility is a meaningful and distinctive basis on which to impose negligence liability.
ISBN: 0070-1998
Id: 11036
Donal Nolan, 'Tort and Public Law: Overlapping Categories? ' (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review 272
This article explores the relationship between tort law and public law as legal categories. The principal argument of the article is that certain aspects of modern tort law are best understood as falling within public law, rather than private law. I begin my analysis with the two tort doctrines that seem to me most clearly to fall within public law, namely the tort of misfeasance in public office and the availability of exemplary damages in cases of oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional action by servants of the government. I then go on to look at a more ambivalent doctrine, the tort of malicious prosecution. Finally, I consider the implications of conceiving of these various doctrines as part and parcel of public law, rather than private law. It follows from my analysis that there is no clear boundary between ‘tort law’ and ‘public law’, but rather a degree of overlap between the two categories. There are lessons here for both private lawyers and public lawyers. The lesson for private lawyers is that attempts to reconcile these doctrines with general private law principles are misguided. The lesson for public lawyers is that closer examination of these doctrines may further understanding of the nature and purposes of public law.
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 10575
Donal Nolan, 'Rights, Damage and Loss' (2017) 37 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 255
DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqw018
This article is an exploration of the relationship between the concepts of rights, damage and loss. The focus of the analysis is on the law of negligence, though some of the claims have wider ramifications. The article is divided into three main sections: first, on the relationship between rights and damage; second, on the relationship between rights and loss; and third, on the relationship between damage and loss. In each section, a separate, but related, claim is made: (i) that a concept of damage is a necessary component of a plausible rights-based conception of negligence law; (ii) that a right not to suffer loss is conceptually impossible; and (iii) that damage and loss are fundamentally different concepts.
ISBN: 1464-3820
Id: 8021
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in the Court of Appeal: An Empirical Study' (2017) 37 Legal Studies 437
DOI: 10.1111/lest.12153
In this paper we report the results of an empirical study of 112 appellate decisions on the contributory negligence doctrine in England and Wales between 2000 and 2015. It is the first study of its kind in any common law jurisdiction, and builds on earlier research in which we looked at the doctrine's operation in first instance courts. Our dataset comprised every appellate decision in which contributory negligence was an issue that was handed down during the study period and which we were able to access electronically. The most important findings include the fact that appeals succeed more frequently in relation to the existence of contributory negligence than with respect to apportionment; that the overall prospect of winning an appeal on contributory negligence does not depend on whether the first instance court is a county court or the High Court; that claimants are nearly twice as likely to win an appeal regarding the existence of contributory negligence as defendants; and that by far most common discount imposed following an appeal is 50%.
ISBN: 1748-121X
Id: 8568
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century: An Empirical Study of First Instance Decisions' (2016) 79 Modern Law Review 575
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12202
In this article we report the results of an empirical study of 368 first instance decisions on the contributory negligence doctrine handed down in England and Wales between 2000 and 2014. The two central questions considered were: how often a defendant’s plea of contributory negligence was successful; and by how much a claimant’s damages were reduced when a finding of contributory negligence was made. We also considered the extent to which the answers to these questions depended on the following variables: the claimant’s age; the claimant’s gender; the type of damage suffered by the claimant; the contextual setting of the claim; and the year of the decision. Our study uncovered several important truths about the contributory negligence doctrine hidden in this mass of case law, some of which cast significant doubt on the accuracy of widely held views about the doctrine’s operation.
ISBN: 1468-2230
Id: 7958
Donal Nolan, 'Preventive Damages' (2016) 132 Law Quarterly Review 68
This article is an examination of ‘preventive damages’, which is to say damages that are awarded to compensate a claimant for expenditure incurred to prevent anticipated damage arising from another’s wrongful conduct. The analysis is a tentative one, with the emphasis on identifying the problems and possible solutions to them, rather than putting forward firmly held views as to how cases of this kind should be resolved. The circumstances in which preventive damages can and should be available are considered, and a number of example cases that squarely raise this issue are discussed. In some of these cases, the argument for recovery seems stronger than in others. Consideration is also given to possible limitations on the recovery of preventive damages, such as a test of reasonableness of the expenditure. Finally, the conceptual difficulties posed by claims for preventive damages are highlighted and some possible doctrinal bases for their recovery are explored.
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 7401
Tamsyn Clark and Donal Nolan, 'A Critique of Chester v Afshar' (2014) 34 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 659
DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqu019
Our aim in this article is to provide a counterbalance to the substantial body of academic opinion supportive of the decision in the medical non-disclosure case of Chester v Afshar [2004] UKHL 41, [2005] 1 AC 134, while at the same time identifying some misconceptions that have arisen about the case. Our critique is consistent with the reasoning of the High Court of Australia in its recent decision in Wallace v Kam [2013] HCA 19, (2013) 87 ALJR 648. The article is divided into three sections. In the first section, we argue that the decision in Chester was a departure from orthodox negligence principles. In the second section, we critically examine the autonomy-based justification the majority in Chester gave for departing from those principles. And in the third section we consider a number of alternative ways in which protection could be given to the autonomy interests at stake in medical non-disclosure cases. Several more general points relating to the autonomy concept and the scope of liability doctrine in negligence law emerge from our critique. Our analysis also suggests that negligence law is ill-suited to the task of providing an appropriate legal solution to the problem of medical non-disclosure.
ISBN: 0143-6503
Id: 4234
Donal Nolan, 'Deconstructing the Duty of Care' (2013) 129 Law Quarterly Review 559
In this article, I subject to critical review the orthodoxy that the “duty of care” is an essential component of the common law of negligence. I argue that the duty of care concept is obscuring understanding of negligence law and hindering its rational development. I therefore propose the “deconstruction” of duty, a process whereby the disparate issues currently subsumed under the duty umbrella are separated out and reclassified under the other components of the negligence enquiry, namely fault, damage, causation, remoteness and defences. I also argue that scepticism about the duty of care is not incompatible with a rights-based approach to negligence law, and that deconstructing duty would improve the quality of judicial reasoning in negligence cases, give a sharper edge to scholarship in the field, and improve the understanding of those coming to negligence law for the first time.
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 4236
Donal Nolan, 'Damage in the English Law of Negligence' (2013) 4 Journal of European Tort Law 259
DOI: 10.1515/jetl-2013-0018
Although foundational to the tort law of both common law and civil law countries, the concept of damage has been the object of surprisingly little analysis by academics in the common law world. The aim of this article is to redress the balance somewhat by looking more closely at the meaning of damage in the English law of negligence. The first part of the article consists of general observations on the damage concept. It is argued that it is impossible to devise a meaningful general definition of damage, that damage is not the same thing as loss, and that the damage concept is compatible with rights-based analysis of negligence law. The remainder of the article is devoted to consideration of the two most common forms of damage, personal injury and physical damage to property. It is argued that a central idea underpinning both these routine forms of damage is that of 'impairment', and that both forms of damage are subject to de minimis principles. As regards personal injury, particular attention is paid to the forms of psychiatric injury which ground a negligence claim. Finally, it is argued that for property to be damaged there must be a physical change in the property which impairs its utility or value, and that merely to incapacitate property is not to damage it. Although the primary focus is on English law (and the common law more generally), some comparative observations are made.
ISBN: 1868-9620
Id: 4235
Donal Nolan, 'Negligence and Human Rights Law: The Case for Separate Development' (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 286
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12013
A number of judges and academics have argued in favour of the convergence of negligence law with human rights law. By contrast, the thesis of this article is that the two legal orders should develop independently, so that for the most part the law of negligence ought not to be affected by human rights considerations. It is argued that the case for convergence is based on two false assumptions, namely that human rights law and negligence law perform similar functions within our legal order and that the norms of human rights law are more fundamental than the norms encapsulated in negligence law. It is also argued that convergence would undermine the coherence of negligence law. Ultimately, the case for separate development rests on the desirability of recognising public law and private law as autonomous normative systems with their own distinctive rationales, concepts and core principles.
ISBN: 0026-7961
Id: 4237
Donal Nolan, 'The Liability of Financial Supervisory Authorities' (2013) 4 Journal of European Tort Law 190
DOI: 10.1515/jetl-2013-0014
In the wake of the global financial crisis, this article considers the tort liability of financial supervisory authorities to depositors and other investors following the failure of a bank or other financial institution. The analysis is comparative, with the primary focus being on the member states of the European Union. Consideration is given to the five liability categories or standards which are employed by EU member states in such cases. These are (1) a public law illegality standard; (2) a standard of ordinary fault/negligence; (3) a standard of gross fault/negligence; (4) a requirement of bad faith; and (5) complete immunity from liability. It is also shown that on the application of general tort principles claims by depositors against financial supervisors face a range of obstacles, including difficulties in establishing fault and causation, and conceptual difficulties based on the nature of the damage (the pure economic loss issue), liability for omissions and for the deliberate acts of third parties, liability for the exercise of judicial or ‘quasi-judicial’ functions, and the ‘protective purpose of the norm’ principle. Finally, consideration is given to alternative means of redress which may be available to depositors in such cases.
ISBN: 1868-9612
Id: 4238
Donal Nolan, 'Varying the Standard of Care in Negligence' (2013) 72 Cambridge Law Journal 651
DOI: 10.1017/S0008197313000731
This article explores the variation of the standard of care in negligence to favour defendants, an issue of considerable practical significance which has not previously been the subject of systematic analysis. By shining a spotlight on this issue I hope to show that varying the standard of care in this way is a useful technique, which is and could be used in a number of types of case to achieve an appropriate balance between liability and non-liability. I also hope to show that if this technique is employed there are some ways of varying the standard of care which are preferable to others. The structure of the analysis is centred around three core questions. First, to what extent has English negligence law already varied the standard of care to favour defendants? Secondly, if the standard of care is to be varied, how should this be done? And thirdly, when and why might the use of a modified standard of care be desirable?
ISBN: 0008-1973
Id: 4239
Donal Nolan, 'The Liability of Public Authorities for Failing to Confer Benefits' (2011) 127 Law Quarterly Review 260
This article examines the circumstances in which a public authority may be held liable in negligence for failing to confer a benefit. Close consideration is given to the implications of the decision in Gorringe v Calderdale MBC [2004] UKHL 15, [2004] 1 WLR 1057 for the English law in this area, and the law after Gorringe is subjected to critical analysis. The article is divided into three main parts. In the first part, consideration is given to whether negligence liability for failure to confer a benefit can ever be based on the existence of a statutory duty or power imposed or conferred on a public authority defendant. In the second part, the focus changes to the application of ordinary private law principles to public authority defendants in cases involving failures to confer benefits. And in the third and final part, it is asked whether the current state of the law in this area is satisfactory.
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 4240
Donal Nolan and Stephen Bailey, 'The Page v Smith Saga: A Tale of Inauspicious Origins and Unintended Consequences' (2010) 69 Cambridge Law Journal 495
DOI: 10.1017/S0008197310000784
Page v Smith [1996] AC 155 was one of a series of landmark decisions of the House of Lords that concerned the extent of negligence liability under English law for the causing of psychiatric harm. Page was controversial when it was decided and hard to analyse, and has caused a range of difficulties in subsequent litigation. There have been suggestions that it should be reconsidered by the Supreme Court. The purpose of the present article is to provide a contemporary evaluation of the decision in Page and to review it with an eye to its possible overruling or modification. In the first half of the article we critically examine the original litigation, and in the second half we consider the impact the decision has had in subsequent cases. Throughout the article we draw upon the significant corpus of judicial and academic criticism which has built up around the decision. We conclude that Page should now be discarded, and replaced with clearer, more rational principles, and that in the meantime the courts should continue to distinguish Page where the circumstances are sufficiently different and its application would produce injustice.
ISBN: 0008-1973
Id: 4241
Donal Nolan, 'New Forms of Damage in Negligence' (2007) 70 Modern Law Review 59
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2006.00626.x
Although damage is an essential component of negligence liability, important extensions of the categories of actionable damage occur with little or no analysis or even acknowledgement of the fact. In this article, consideration is given to a number of new forms of actionable damage which appear either to have received recognition by the courts in recent years, or to be close to receiving such recognition. The article is divided into three core sections, dealing with negligent imprisonment, wrongful conception and educational negligence. The principal conclusions are that redress for negligent imprisonment is best achieved through recognition of imprisonment as actionable damage in negligence; that an unwanted pregnancy is a form of personal injury, albeit an unusual one; that the conventional sum award in wrongful conception cases is best analysed as compensation for a diminution in the parents' autonomy; and that while untreated learning disorders are now treated by the courts as a form of personal injury, in the absence of such a disorder educational under-development ought not to be recognised as actionable damage in its own right.
ISBN: 1468-2230
Id: 4242
Donal Nolan, 'Reforming Liability for Psychiatric Injury in Scotland: a Recipe for Uncertainty?' (2005) 68 Modern Law Review 983
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2005.00569.x
It is widely acknowledged that the common law rules governing liability for psychiatric injury in the United Kingdom are in an unsatisfactory state. The Scottish Law Commission has now published a report, Damages for Psychiatric Injury (Scot Law Com No 196, 2004), which recommends wholesale statutory reform of this area of the law. In this paper, the report is summarised, and its recommendations subjected to detailed critical analysis. It is concluded that, while the proposed statutory scheme is both coherent and imaginative, the Commission's consistent preference for flexible, fact-oriented rules means that implementation of the report's recommendations could give rise to an unacceptable degree of uncertainty.
ISBN: 0026-7961
Id: 4243
Donal Nolan, 'The Distinctiveness of Rylands v Fletcher' (2005) 121 Law Quarterly Review 421
The primary purpose of this article is to challenge the proposition that the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is best regarded as an offshoot of the tort of private nuisance, being an extension of that cause of action to isolated escapes. This offshoot theory was endorsed by the House of Lords in Transco Plc v Stockport MBC [2003] UKHL 61, [2003] 3 WLR 1467, and can now be described as the new orthodoxy. It is argued, however, that the offshoot theory should be rejected, since (1) analysis of the Rylands v Fletcher case provides little support for the theory; (2) there are well-established distinctions between the rule in Rylands v Fletcher and private nuisance; (3) merger with the rule will be bad for nuisance; and (4) the version of the strict liability rule to which the offshoot theory has given rise is unappealing. By way of contrast to the offshoot theory, the distinctiveness of the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is asserted. Consideration is also given to Burnie Port Authority v General Jones Pty Ltd (1994) 179 CLR 520, where the High Court of Australia held that the rule in Rylands v Fletcher should be treated as having been absorbed by the principles of ordinary negligence, as well as to the desirability of a strict liability rule independent of nuisance.
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 4244
Donal Nolan, 'Psychiatric Injury at the Crossroads' (2004) Journal of Personal Injury Law 1
The purpose of this article is twofold. The first aim is to provide an overview of the current law governing psychiatric injury. The law in this area has become extremely complex, and a path through the thicket may come in handy. The second aim is to consider the options for reform. It is widely acknowledged that the current position is indefensible, and proposals for legislative change have been put forward in recent years by both the Law Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission. The possible ways forward will be outlined and assessed. Before proceeding to an outline of the current position, it will, however, be helpful to give a brief account of the development of the law on psychiatric injury. This is because, in this area of the law, it is very difficult to understand where we are now without knowing how we got here.
ISBN: 1352 7533
Id: 4245
Donal Nolan, 'Suing the State: Governmental Liability in Comparative Perspective' (2004) 67 Modern Law Review 843
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2004.00515.x
A review article of Duncan Fairgrieve, State Liability in Tort: A Comparative Law Study. The article considers the current state of governmental liability in English law from three different perspectives (public law, private law, and legal politics), and focuses in particular on the lessons that can be learned from the French law of state liability.
ISBN: 0026 7961
Id: 4246
Donal Nolan, 'Following in their Footsteps: Equitable Estoppel in Australia and the United States' (2000) 11 King's College Law Journal 202
DOI: 10.1080/09615768.2000.11423602
The discussion in this article is driven by the conviction that doctrines of promissory and proprietary estoppel remain underdeveloped in English law, and that this doctrinal immaturity has resulted in an inadequate legal response to the problem of detrimental reliance on non-contractual statements of intention. In addition, it is contended, English law has in this respect lagged behind the law in two other common law countries, Australia and the United States. The article is divided into three main parts. The first part consists of a brief account of the current state of play in English law. In the second and third parts of the article, the focus of attention shifts to Australia and the United States respectively. An outline of developments in these countries is provided, and an attempt is made to identify the lessons that can be learned from those developments.
ISBN: 0961-5768
Id: 4247

Other (4)

James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence on Appeal' (2017) New Law Journal 18
A summary of an empirical analysis of contributory negligence case law in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
ISBN: 0306-6479
Id: 9173
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Contributory Negligence in Practice' (2016) Inner Temple Yearbook 2016-2017 141
Id: 8395
James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan, 'Fault Lines: Contributory Negligence in Practice' (2016) 166 New Law Journal 11
A summary of an empirical analysis of contributory negligence case law in first instance courts in England and Wales.
ISBN: 0306-6479
Id: 8394
Donal Nolan and Sandra Meredith (eds), 'OSCOLA: The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities' (2012) 4th edn Hart Publishing
The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities is designed to facilitate accurate citation of authorities, legislation, and other legal materials. It is widely used in law schools and by journal and book publishers in the UK and beyond.
ISBN: 9781849463676
Id: 4282

Review (6)

Donal Nolan, 'A History of Tort Law 1900-1950' (2015) 54 Irish Jurist 187 [Review]
A review of Paul Mitchell, A History of Tort Law 1900-1950 (CUP, 2015).
ISBN: 00211273
Id: 7402
Donal Nolan, 'Carriage of Goods by Sea, 2nd edn' (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 469 [Review]
A review of Stephen Girvin, Carriage of Goods by Sea, 2nd edn (OUP 2011).
ISBN: 0023-933X
Id: 4283
Donal Nolan, 'Enterprise Liability and the Common Law' (2012) 41 Industrial Law Journal 370 [Review]
DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dws027
A review of Douglas Brodie, Enterprise Liability and the Common Law (CUP 2010).
ISBN: 0305-9332
Id: 4284
Donal Nolan, 'The Law of Electronic Commerce' [2010] Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 677 [Review]
A review of Alan Davidson, The Law of Electronic Commerce (CUP 2009).
ISBN: 03062945
Id: 4285
Donal Nolan, 'Clerk and Lindsell on Torts (18th edn) ' (2001) 6 Construction and Engineering Law 48 [Review]
A review of Clerk and Lindsell on Torts, 18th edn (Sweet & Maxwell 2000).
Id: 4286
Donal Nolan, 'The Modern Law of Estoppel ' (2001) 15 Trust Law International 59 [Review]
A review of Elizabeth Cooke, The Modern Law of Estoppel (OUP 2000).
ISBN: 09622624
Id: 4287

Research projects

Research Interests

Tort, especially negligence, nuisance and the relationship between tort and public law

Options taught

Contract, Tort, International Trade

Research projects