Skip to main content
The Merits of the Civil Action for Breach of Statutory Duty
Sydney Law Review (2011)
  • Neil J Foster
The tort action for Breach of Statutory Duty provides an intersection between the goals of private law and ‘public’ goals as determined by legislation. But the question as to when, in what circumstances, and why, a civil action should be available to a claimant whose statutory rights have been breached, continues to be agitated. This article argues that the tort, far from deserving the accusations of incoherence and unpredictability sometimes levelled at it in the common law world, has a respectable and coherent history and justification within the common law of torts. There are reasons for doubting whether it should have been abolished in Canada, and its abolition has caused a distortion of the law of negligence in that jurisdiction. The tort is one that in other jurisdictions has continued, and should continue, to operate as an important part of the mechanism of private law for vindicating rights created by the shapers of public values: the legislature.
  • breach of statutory duty
Publication Date
Citation Information
Neil J. Foster. "The Merits of the Civil Action for Breach of Statutory Duty" Sydney Law Review 33 (2011): 67-93. Available at:; see also .