Sandy Steel is Lee Shau Kee's Sir Man Kam Lo Fellow in Law at Wadham College and Associate Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law at Oxford. He read law (BA, PhD) at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He holds or held visiting appointments at the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, and will be a Global Fellow at NYU in 2021.  

He's interested in philosophical and doctrinal questions about private law. He has written mainly about torts and private law theory, but also maintains an interest in general jurisprudence and has co-authored (with Nick McBride) a critical guide to the subject: Great Debates in Jurisprudence (Palgrave, 2014, 2nd edn 2018). 

In 2016, he was awarded the Modern Law Review's Wedderburn Prize for his article 'Justifying Exceptions to Proof of Causation in Tort Law'. His other book, Proof of Causation in Tort Law (CUP, 2015, paperback edn 2017) won the Society of Legal Scholars Birks Runner-up Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. His work has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the High Court of Australia. 

He is currently busy working on completing a textbook on Torts for CUP, and two monographs for OUP, one on omissions liability in tort, and one on the normative foundations of remedial law. 

Some draft papers are available here: and








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  • N Jansen and S Steel, The Structure of Tort Law (Oxford University Press 2021)
  • S Steel, 'Compensation and Continuity' (2020) Legal Theory (forthcoming)
  • S Steel, 'Remedies, Analysed' (2020) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)
  • S Steel, 'The Moral Necessity of Tort Law - The Fairness Argument' (2020) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)
  • S Steel and R Stevens, 'The Secondary Duty to Pay Damages' (2020) 136 Law Quarterly Review 283
  • S Steel, 'Cause and Courts' in P Daly (ed), Apex Courts and the Common Law (University of Toronto Press 2019)
  • S Steel, 'Defences to Tortious and Contractual Liability in French Law' in JS Borghetti and S Whittaker (eds), French Civil Liability in Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing 2019)
  • S Steel, 'Rationalising Omissions Liability in Negligence' (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review 484
  • S Steel, 'Review of Private Law and the Value of Choice' (2019) 82 Modern Law Review [Review]
  • S Steel, 'The Gist of Private Nuisance' (2019) 135 LQR 192 [Case Note]
  • NJ McBride and S Steel, Great Debates in Jurisprudence (2nd edn Palgrave 2018)
  • T Khaitan and S Steel, 'Wrongs, Group Disadvantage, and the Legitimacy of Indirect Discrimination Law' in H Collins and T Khaitan (eds), Foundations of Indirect Discrimination Law (Hart Publishing 2018)
  • S Steel, 'The Locality Principle in Private Nuisance' (2017) 76 Cambridge Law Journal 145
  • J Stapleton and S Steel, 'Causes and Contributions' (2016) 132 LQR 363 [Case Note]
  • S Tofaris and S Steel, 'Negligence Liability for Omissions and the Police' (2016) 75 Cambridge Law Journal 128
  • S Steel, 'Saving Private Wrongs' (2016) 14 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 1
  • S Steel, 'On when Fairchild applies' (2015) 131 LQR 363 [Case Note]
  • S Steel and M Lunney, 'Capacity' in K Oliphant (ed), The Law of Torts (Lexis Nexis 2014)
  • S Steel, 'Causation and Scope of Responsibility in Negligence' in K Oliphant (ed), The Law of Torts (Lexis Nexis 2014)
  • S Steel, 'Causation in Tort and Crime: Unity or Divergence?' in MN Dyson (ed), Unravelling Tort and Crime (CUP 2014)
  • S Steel, 'Defining Causal Counterfactuals in Negligence' (2014) 130 LQR 564 [Case Note]
  • K Oliphant, V Harpwood and S Steel, 'Joint and Several Liability' in K Oliphant (ed), The Law of Torts (Lexis Nexis 2014)
  • S Steel, 'Malicious Prosecution' in K Oliphant (ed), The Law of Torts (Lexis Nexis 2014)
  • S Steel, 'Review of D Nolan & A Robertson (eds) "Rights and Private Law" ' (2014) 73 CLJ 466 [Review]
  • S Steel, 'Review of R Keown & R George (eds) "Reason, Morality and Law" ' (2014) 130 LQR 348 [Review]
  • S Steel, 'Private Law and Justice' (2013) 33 OJLS 607
  • S Steel, 'Rationalising Loss of Chance in Tort' in S Pitel, J Neyers, E Chamberlain (ed), Challenging Orthodoxy in Tort Law (Hart 2013)
  • S Steel, 'Causation in English Tort Law: Still Wrong After All These Years' (2012) 31 University of Queensland Law Journal 243
  • S Steel, 'Review of R Goldberg (ed), "Perspectives on Causation" ' (2012) 16 Edinburgh Law Review 458 [Review]
  • S Steel, 'Review of RM Dworkin, "Justice for Hedgehogs"' (2012) 128 LQR 167 [Review]
  • NJ McBride and S Steel, 'The Trigger Litigation' (2012) 28 Professional Negligence 285 [Case Note]
  • NJ McBride and S Steel, 'Why Wright is Wrong: Suing for the Loss of the Right to Sue' (2012) 28 Professional Negligence 27
  • S Steel, 'Exceptional Doctrines of Natural Causation: Sienkiewicz v Greif ' (2011) 2 Journal of European Tort Law 294
  • S Steel, 'False Imprisonment and the Fetch of Hypothetical Warrant' (2011) 127 LQR 527 [Case Note]
  • S Steel and DJ Ibbetson, 'More Grief on Uncertain Causation in Tort' (2011) 70 CLJ 451
  • S Steel, 'Review of Michael Moore, "Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals and Metaphysics"' (2010) 126 LQR 479 [Review]
  • S Steel, 'Uncertainty over Causal Uncertainty' (2010) 73 MLR 646 [Case Note]

Research programmes

Research Interests

Tort, Contract, Private Law Theory, Comparative Law, Moral Philosophy.

Options taught

Contract, Jurisprudence, Tort, Roman Law (Delict - FHS), Commercial Remedies, Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law

Research projects