Liability in tort for the acts of third parties : a search for coherence
The circumstances in English tort law in which one person may be held non-vicariously liable for the acts of another have been quietly expanding in recent years, to the point where third party liability can now be said to constitute a distinct category of tortuous liability. As an obviously exceptional form of liability, it is subject to special restrictions designed to strictly limit the specific instances in which it will be recognised. Unfortunately, however, the exact substance and scope of these restrictions are far from clear, for there has been a systematic failure on the part of the courts in deciding third-party liability actions to articulate with any precision the grounds upon which their findings have been based. As a result, the law on third party tort liability has developed on an ad hoc basis and has become confused and incoherent. The specific purpose of this thesis is thus to seek out the foundational principles governing the existing categories of liability in tort for the acts of third parties, with a view to identifying a coherent basis upon which such liability can develop in the future.