Law of Wrongdoing in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • M'Alister or Donoghue (Pauper) v Stevenson
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Mayo 1932

    You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question.

  • Smith v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd; Maloco v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 05 Febrero 1987

    This dictum may be read as expressing the general idea that the voluntary act of another, independent of the defender's fault, is regarded as a novus actus interveniens which, to use the old metaphor, "breaks the chain of causation." Of course, if a duty of care is imposed to guard against deliberate wrongdoing by others, it can hardly be said that the harmful effects of such wrongdoing are not caused by such breach of duty.

    I wish to emphasise that I do not think that the problem in these cases can be solved simply through the mechanism of foreseeability. When a duty is cast upon a person to take precautions against the wrongdoing of third parties, the ordinary standard of foreseeability applies; and so the possibility of such wrongdoing does not have to be very great before liability is imposed.

  • Lonrho Plc (Original Respondents and Cross-Appellants) v Fayed and Others (Original Appellants and Cross-Respondents) (First Appeal); Lonrho Plc (Original Respondents and Cross-Appellants) v Fayed and Others (Original Appellants and Cross-Respondents) (Second Appeal)
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Octubre 1991

    But when conspirators intentionally injure the plaintiff and use unlawful means to do so, it is no defence for them to show that their primary purpose was to further or protect their own interests; it is sufficient to make their action tortious that the means used were unlawful.

  • Dorset Yacht Company Ltd v Home Office
    • House of Lords
    • 06 Mayo 1970

    These cases shew that, where human action forms one of the links between the original wrongdoing of the defendant and the loss suffered by the plaintiff, that action must at least have been something very likely to happen if it is not to be regarded as novus actus interveniens breaking the chain of causation.

  • Dubai Aluminium Company Ltd v Salaam
    • House of Lords
    • 05 Diciembre 2002

    Perhaps the best general answer is that the wrongful conduct must be so closely connected with acts the partner or employee was authorised to do that, for the purpose of the liability of the firm or the employer to third parties, the wrongful conduct may fairly and properly be regarded as done by the partner while acting in the ordinary course of the firm's business or the employee's employment.

  • Lister and Others v Hesley Hall Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 03 Mayo 2001

    It remains, however, to consider how vicarious liability for intentional wrongdoing fits in with Salmond's formulation. The answer is that it does not cope ideally with such cases. It must, however, be remembered that the great tort writer did not attempt to enunciate precise propositions of law on vicarious liability. In reality it is simply a practical test serving as a dividing line between cases where it is or is not just to impose vicarious liability.

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  • Insolvency Act 1986
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1986
    ... ... and qualification of insolvency practitioners, the public administration of insolvency, the penalisation and redress of malpractice and wrongdoing, and the avoidance of certain transactions at an undervalue[25th July 1986] ... Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with ... ...
  • Finance Act 2008
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2008
    ... ... 2009/571, art. 2 (with art. 6) ... SCHEDULE 41 Section 123 ... Penalties: failure to notify and certain VAT and excise wrongdoing" ... Failure to notify etc ... (1) A penalty is payable by a person (P) where P fails to comply with an obligation specified in the Table below (a \xE2\x80" ... ...
  • Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2018
    ... ... 2020/1642, reg. 4(b) (with reg. 7) ... (114) (1) Schedule 41 (penalties: failure to notify and certain VAT and excise wrongdoing) is amended as follows.(2) In paragraph 1, in the table—(a) omit the F14third entry relating to Value Added Tax (obligation to notify under ... ...
  • Finance Act 2022
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2022
    ... ... 82: Excise duty: penalties ... (1) Schedule 41 to FA 2008 (penalties: failure to notify and certain VAT and excise wrongdoing) is amended as follows ... (2) In paragraph 1 (penalty payable on failure to comply with relevant obligation) , in the table (relevant obligations) ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Profits from Wrongdoing: Private and Public Law Perspectives
    • No. 62-2, March 1999
    • The Modern Law Review
  • Dishonesty plus Breach of Fiduciary Duties can Add up to Fraud
    • No. 4-1, March 1996
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 59-62
    The Privy Council has added an interesting twist to the developing jurisprudence of commercial fraud in Grant Adams v The Queen, a recent appeal from the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. The judgmen...
    ... ... The judgment seems to suggest that the dividing line between 'civil' wrongdoing (ie breaches of fidu-ciary duty, company law obligations) and 'criminal' wrongdoing (ie theft and fraud) is not an impene-trable barrier. The ... ...
  • Re-forming Justice: The Potential of Maori Processes
    • No. 30-2, August 1997
    • Journal of Criminology (formerly Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology)
    There have been a number of calls for the implementation of a separate Maori justice system. This paper examines these calls and the practicalities of moving in this direction by drawing from two p...
    ... ... Tikanga o nga hara, for example, translates broadly into the law of wrongdoing and many Maori hapu (sub-tribes or collections of families) and iwi (tribes) possessed runanga 0 nga tura which translates broadly into a ... ...
  • Codes of Ethics as Corporate Camouflage: An Expression of Desire, Intent or Deceit?
    • No. 7-2, April 1999
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 140-146
    This paper seeks to advance and explore the notion that corporate codes of ethics are merely a form of ‘camouflage’ allowing corporate wrongdoing to flourish undetected and unpunished. It argues th...
    ... ... This paper seeks to advance and explore the notion that corporate codes of ethics are merely a form of 'camouflage' allowing corporate wrongdoing to flourish undetected and unpunished. It argues that the nature of corporations, the nature of law and the nature of corporate codes lead to a ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council formally adopts new Whistleblowing Directive
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council has formally adopted a Directive of the EU Parliament, which aims to harmonise the protections available for EU whistleblowers who report breaches of EU law.
    ... ... which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making it, is made in the public interest and tends to show one or more of the types of wrongdoing or failure listed in section 43B(1)(a) to (f) which are: ... that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be ... ...
  • Employers Beware: Post-termination Whistleblowing
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In the recent case of Onyango v. Berkeley Solicitors, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that an employee was allowed to bring a ‘whistleblowing’ claim relating to a protected disclosure that ...
    ... ... Under UK law, workers are protected from receiving detrimental treatment as a result of raising a concern about certain types of wrongdoing occurring in the workplace. In Onyango, the Claimant (Mr. Onyango) brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal alleging that as a result of making a ... ...
  • Corporate Compliance Takes a New Turn
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    Discovering corporate criminal wrongdoing by employees or agents is a situation that employers hope to never encounter. However, if that time comes it is critical to be prepared. The Federal Govern...
  • Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK – Is the Law Sufficient?
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    With instances of whistleblowing hitting the press on an ever-increasing basis, does UK law do enough to protect employees who blow the whistle on their employer’s wrongdoing? According to a new re...
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