Despite the centrality of the contributory negligence doctrine in practice, almost nothing is known about how it functions in reality. The authors, seeking to fill this deficit in understanding, have engaged in a wide-ranging empirical study of how the doctrine is handled by the courts. They report their methodology and findings in this volume, framing their discussion in the law of contributory negligence.
The study is based on 572 first instance decisions on contributory negligence from across the UK decided between 2000 and 2016, and 130 appellate decisions handed down in the same time period. The analysis considers the operation of the contributory negligence doctrine at first instance and on appeal, and also in three particular contextual settings, namely road accidents, accidents at work and professional negligence claims. The authors conclude with a discussion of the central issues identified in the analysis, and look at how the study can be used to inform future developments in this area of law. Substantial appendices set out all of the data on which the book is based, enabling academics to utilise the dataset in their own research and allowing practitioners to easily compare their cases with previously decided cases.
Contributory Negligence in the Twenty-First Century, by James Goudkamp and Donal Nolan. 352pp. OUP Oxford (27 March 2019). ISBN 0198814240. £95.00.