A more recent version of these Contributory Negligence notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Defences to Liability Contributory Negligence
Is by no means a complete defence o But can substantially decrease amount of damages that need to be paid out - although not to 100%, naturally. o Giliker: more popular among the Courts because it is less drastic than extinguishing the claim altogether such as with the other defences. o Principles enshrined in Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 s.1(1)
? Where any person suffers damage as a result
partly of his own fault
and partly of the fault of another person(s) o the claim shall not be defeated by reason of C being at fault
? but the damages will be reduced to the extent the court feels just and equitable
having regard to C's share in the responsibility for the damage.
? Giliker: damages will be reduced according to C's responsibility for the damage (and not the accident)
E.g. Froom v Butcher  - X, passenger in car, not wearing a seatbelt when D crashes the car owing to negligence and X suffers preventable extent of damage as a result.
Definition of "Fault" of C o Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 s.4
? breach of statutory duty
? OR other act or omission that gives rise to liability in tort,
or would, apart from the Act, give rise to the defence of contributory negligence
? DOES NOT APPLY WHERE NEGLIGENCE BY C WOULD NOT GIVE RISE TO DEFENCE AT COMMON LAW
E.g. Fraud/Deceit = not contributory negligence by C o Reeves v Metropolitan Police Commissioner :
? Intentional acts included
Giliker: very generous interpretation of "fault" to say that it is "negligent" to deliberately commit suicide
Is rather artificial as well
Questions to find claim of contributory negligence o IS a SEPERATE issue from duty of care o All we're asking is whether C failed to exercise reasonable care and this contributed to his injury o Was C acting negligently?
? Jones v Livox Quarries :
X rode on a lorry by hanging onto the back, expressly disobeying his employer. The lorry stopped, and was then negligently run into by a dumper, crushing X between the vehicles and causing serious injury.
? Lord Denning:
A person is guilty of contributory negligence if he ought reasonably to have foreseen that,
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Tort Law Notes.