Accessory Liability

Accessory Liability

by Paul S Davies

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Overview

Accessory liability in the private law is of great importance. Claimants often bring claims against third parties who participate in wrongs. For example, the 'direct wrongdoer' may be insolvent, so a claimant might prefer a remedy against an accessory in order to obtain satisfactory redress. However, the law in this area has not received the attention it deserves. The criminal law recognises that any person who 'aids, abets, counsels or procures' any offence can be punished as an accessory, but the private law is more fragmented. One reason for this is a tendency to compartmentalise the law of obligations into discrete subjects, such as contract, trusts, tort and intellectual property. This book suggests that by looking across such boundaries in the private law, the nature and principles of accessory liability can be better understood and doctrinal confusion regarding the elements of liability, defences and remedies resolved.Winner of the Joint Second SLS Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2015.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781509914104
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 05/25/2017
Series: Hart Studies in Private Law , #13
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Paul S Davies is an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

Foreword v

Preface to the Paperback Edition vii

Acknowledgements ix

Tables of Cases xix

Table of Legislation xxxiii

1 Introduction 1

I What is Accessory Liability? 1

II Why is Accessory Liability Important? 2

A Pragmatic Factors 3

i Insolvency 3

ii Preserving Relationships 3

iii Convenience 3

B Moral Considerations 4

III Doctrinal Difficulties in the Law of Obligations 5

A Equity 5

B Contract 6

C Tort 7

IV Looking Across the Legal Landscape 8

V Approach of the Book 10

2 Fundamentals 12

I Principles Underpinning Accessory Liability 12

A Responsibility 12

B Culpability 13

C Protecting Rights 14

D Deterrence 15

E Loss-shifting 16

F Property 17

G Law and Economics 17

H Evidential Considerations 18

I Consistency in the Law 19

J Freedom of Action 19

K Preliminary Conclusions 20

II Conduct Element 21

A 'Aid, Abet, Counsel or Procure' 22

i Aid 22

ii Abet 24

iii Counsel 27

iv Procure 29

B Causation 31

i Novus Actus Interveniens 33

ii The Test of Causation 36

iii Substantial Cause 37

C Preliminary Conclusions: Causal Participation in a Primary Wrong 39

III Mental Element 40

A Intention 41

B Knowledge 42

i Content of Knowledge 43

ii Standard of Knowledge 44

C Dishonesty 49

D Unconscionability 50

E Recklessness 51

F Negligence 52

G Preliminary Conclusions 52

IV Nature of Accessory Liability 54

V Distinguishing Accessory Liability 56

A Free-standing Duty of Care 56

B Innocent Agency 57

C Vicarious Liability 58

D Corporate Attribution 60

E Conspiracy 61

F Joint Enterprise 62

3 Crime 64

I Scope of Accessory Liability 64

A Co-principals 65

B Joint Enterprise 66

C Innocent Agency 68

D Vicarious Liability 69

E Conspiracy 69

F Inchoate Liability for Assisting or Encouraging an Offence 69

II Primary Offence 70

III Conduct Element 71

IV Mental Element 75

A Intention 75

B Knowledge 76

i Content of Knowledge 76

ii Standard of Knowledge 77

C Recklessness 78

D Negligence 79

V Defences 80

A Defences Available to the Principal 80

B Withdrawal 81

C Duress 82

D Preventing the Commission of an Offence 82

E Acting Reasonably 83

VI Nature of Liability 83

VII Rationales of Liability 85

A Responsibility 85

B Culpability 85

C Evidential Considerations 86

D Public Acceptability 86

VIII Conclusions 87

4 Equity 88

I Seeds of Confusion: The Effect of Barnes v Addy 88

A Trustee de son tort 90

B Receipt-based Liability 91

C Accessory Liability: Knowingly Assisting a Dishonest and Fraudulent Design 93

II A New Start: Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd v Tan 95

III Primary Wrong: Breach of Contract 96

A Breach of Trust 96

B Breach of Fiduciary Duty 99

C Breach of Confidence 100

D Undue Influence 102

E Conclusions 103

IV Conduct Element 104

A Inducement 104

B Assistance 106

C Encouragement 108

D Causation 108

V Mental Element 109

A Knowledge 109

i Content of Knowledge 110

ii Standard of Knowledge 112

B Negligence 114

C Unconscionability 115

D Dishonesty 116

i Reception 118

ii Label 119

iii Misplaced Criminal Concept 119

iv Actus Reus or Mens Rea? 120

v 'An Unnecessary Distraction, and Conducive to Error' 121

vi Implicit Defences 122

VI Explaining Accessory Liability 123

A Responsibility 123

B Culpability 123

C Protecting Rights 124

D Deterrence 125

E Loss-shifting 125

P Property 125

VII What Shape should Accessory Liability Take? 126

A Distinguishing Inducement and Assistance 127

B The Impact of a Defendant's Gain 129

C One General Approach to Accessory Liability 130

5 Contract 132

I The Leading Case: Lumley v Gye 132

A The Basis of Lumley 133

i The Narrow View: Status 133

ii The Broader View: Contract 134

B Dealing with Lumley. Signs of Confusion 135

i Requiring a Breach of Contract 137

ii An 'Economic Tort'? 138

iii The 'Genus Tort' 140

II Accessory Liability Recognised: OBG Ltd v Allan 141

III Primary Wrong 142

A Type of Breach 142

B Void, Voidable and Unenforceable Contracts 143

C Exclusion Clauses and Force Majeure Clauses 145

IV Conduct Element 145

A Inducement 145

i Prevention Distinguished 146

ii Direct/Indirect 147

iii Scope of Inducement 149

B Assistance 150

C Encouragement 153

D Advice 154

E Preliminary Conclusions 156

V Mental Element 156

A Malice 156

B Intention 157

C Knowledge 158

i Content of Knowledge 158

ii Standard of Knowledge 159

D Negligence 160

E Preliminary Conclusions 161

VI Explaining Accessory Liability 162

A Responsibility 162

B Culpability 163

C Protecting Rights 163

D Property 164

E Deterrence 165

F Loss-shifting 165

G Positive Rationales for Accessory Liability: Preliminary Conclusions 166

VII Against Accessory Liability: Defending Breach of Contract 166

A Privity of Contract 167

B Efficient Breach 168

C Commercial Morality 170

D Trade Unions 171

VIII What Shape should Accessory Liability Take? 172

A Fusion 174

6 Tort 177

I Mapping Accessory Liability in Tort Law 177

A Early Orthodoxy: 'Aid, Abet. Counsel or Procure' 177

B The Obscurity of Joint Tortfeasance 178

C Distinguishing Accessory Liability 180

i Vicarious Liability 180

ii Conspiracy 181

iii Innocent Agency 181

iv Negligence 182

D Bringing Out Accessory Liability 182

II Primary Wrong 183

A Necessity of Primary Tort 183

B Can Accessory Liability Attach to All Primary Torts? 184

i Breach of Statutory Duty 184

ii Nuisance 185

iii Intellectual Properly Torts 186

iv Negligence 187

III Conduct Element 188

A Combination 188

B Authorisation 191

C Inducement 194

D Assistance 195

i CBS Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc 195

ii Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland NV (Now Generale Bank Nederland NV) v Export Credits Guarantee Department 196

iii Potential for a Wider Approach? 198

IV Mental Element 203

A Mirroring the Mental Element of the Primary Tort 203

B Intention 205

C Knowledge 206

i Content of Knowledge 207

ii Standard of Knowledge 208

V Explaining Liability 209

A Responsibility 210

B Culpability 211

C Protecting Rights 211

D Deterrence 212

E Economic Efficiency 213

VI What Shape should Accessory Liability Take? 213

A Concerns Surrounding Certainty 214

B Consistency with the Criminal Law 216

C Consistency with the Private Law 219

D Conclusions 220

7 Defences 222

I Defences Available to the Primary Wrongdoer 223

II Justification 226

A Equal or Superior Right 230

B Performance of a Duty 234

C Staple Article of Commerce 240

D Public Morals 247

E Statutory Justification 248

III Withdrawal 250

IV Limitation 251

V Conclusion 253

8 Remedies 255

I 'Secondary' Liability Exposed 255

II Compensation 256

A Equity 256

B Contract 258

C Tort 261

D Clauses Expressly Agreed with the Primary Wrongdoer 261

E Contributory Negligence 263

III Gain-based Awards 264

A Liability for the Primary Wrongdoer's Gain 264

B Accounting for the Accessory's Gain 267

IV Hypothetical Bargain Measure of Damages 269

V Contribution 271

VI Punitive Damages 272

VII Injunction 274

VIII Combining Remedies 275

9 Conclusions 279

I 'Knowing Assistance' 279

II A Standard Approach Across All Obligations 283

III The Nature of Accessory Liability 284

IV A Narrow But Coherent Law of Accessory Liability 285

Epilogue 287

Index 301

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