High Court of Australia: Negligence cases 2000 – 2010

The December 2014 Sydney Law Review includes an interesting article by Pam Stewart & Anita Stuhmcke (UTS Sydney) which is available in full online: High Court Negligence Cases 2000-10.

The article flows from a study of ten years of High Court negligence decisions, a form of study that the authors note remains relatively rare in Australian legal research.  They look at trends in imposition of personal responsibility (particularly for recreational activity) and trends in public authority defendant decisions. The article also considers the evidence of need for the civil liability statutory amendments that followed the Review of the Law of Negligence, now more than 10 years ago.

The authors comment:

Over the 11-year period studied, the plaintiff — that is, the party who suffered loss or damage — was successful in 25 High Court negligence cases (32.05%) and the defendant was successful in 53 such cases (67.95%).

See also the related article by the same authors in Melbourne University Law Review, entitled Lacunae and litigants: A study of the negligence cases in the High Court of Australia in the first decade of the 21st century and beyond.