Comparative Law and Legal Culture: Placing Vicarious Liability in Comparative Perspective

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Vicarious liability—that is, strict liability for the torts of others—is a doctrine that crosses legal systems. It is found not only in common law systems but also in civil law and hybrid socialist legal systems, such as that of China. The formulation of vicarious liability set out in Article 34 of the 2009 Chinese Tort Liability Law reflects the common elements found across legal systems of the world: an employer/employee relationship; a tort; being committed in the course of the performance of the employee’s duties. From the 2017 proposals to redraft the tort provisions of the French Civil Code to recent developments in the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, and China, this article will use the doctrine of vicarious liability to examine how comparative law can provide insights into law-making and legal culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265–293
Number of pages29
JournalChinese Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • vicarious liability
  • Comparative law

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