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UCL CLP: Aggravated Damages

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UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Wilkins Building

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

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Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2017-18

Speaker: Professor Michael Tilbury (The University of Melbourne)
Chair: TBC


About this lecture:

Opinions differ among lawyers about the function and utility of aggravated damages. Some would argue that aggravated damages have no place in the common law. Others would confine their availability to certain actions or to certain types of harm. The Law Commission of England and Wales has, for example, argued that aggravated damages should only be awardable for mental distress, and, indeed, that, wherever possible, they should be labelled ‘damages for mental distress’. The thesis of this lecture, which emerges from an analysis of the operation of aggravated damages in English and Australian law, is that the concept has a limited, but important, role in modern law—a role that is capable of more general application than is commonly thought.

The lecture will examine the place of aggravated damages within the general law of damages and consider their application, or potential application, across a range of torts, as well as in the law of contract and in equity. It will also consider the restatements of the law of aggravated damages that have recently been offered by legal theorists.


Themes and learning outcomes at a glance:

  • Increased awareness of the compensatory principle, of the differing functions of damages, and of the assessment of non-pecuniary loss

  • Understanding of the potential for the wider use of aggravated damages in practice

  • A comparative view of the approaches of the English and Australian courts to a central concept of the common law


About the speaker:

Michael Tilbury retired as Chair of Private Law and Kerry Holdings Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong in 2015. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he was Edward Jenks Professor of Law between 1995 and 2003. He began his academic career at the University of New South Wales, where he became the Head of the School of Law. He has also been a Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania, and was the Inaugural Director and Rowland Professor of Law at the Commercial Law Institute of the University of Zimbabwe. He was Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission between 1994 and 1996 and again from 2002-2010, as well as Academic Secretary of the Victorian Attorney-General’s Law Reform Advisory Council between 1997 and 2000. His principal publications are a two-volume work, Civil Remedies, published by Butterworths in 1990 and 1993, and Conflict of Laws in Australia (co-authored with Gary Davis and Brian Opeskin), published by Oxford University Press in 2002. He has been involved in over 40 law reform projects in Australia, including major reviews of the law of defamation, privacy, sentencing and succession. He is currently working on a new edition of Civil Remedies.

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UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

Wilkins Building

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

View Map

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