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Objective Theory of Negligence

18th February 2011
By Mutex Robb in Legal
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In Blyth v. Birmingham Water Works Co., [(1856) 11 Ch 781] Alderson states, "Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man guided upon whose considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do".

The definition by Alderson, B assumes as duty to take care; it also assumes that the degree of care is to be measured by the standard of a reasonable man. So negligence is a breach of duty to take care resulting in damage to one, whether in person or property.

According to objective theory, negligence is caused by the conduct of the person, but not by his mental condition. The Courts must punish the wrong-doer in criminal or tort cases depending upon his conduct, and the quantum of the wrong done by him.

The objective theory says that the mental condition of a wrong-doer cannot be seen, but his conduct can be seen openly by his conduct.

The result is objective i.e. can be seen and observed by the senses.

It does not analyze the mental condition of the wrong-doer. It only analyses the effects of the wrong, and the liability of the wrong-doer, on the evidences of his conduct.

Negligence in the sense of conduct refers to the behavior of a person who, although innocent of any intention to bring about the result in question, has failed nevertheless to act up to the standard set by law, which is usually that of a reasonable man. Recklessness is serious failure to act reasonably.

When a statute prescribes a certain standard of behavior with a view to avoiding injury to persons, it has been said that the failure to come up to that standard is statutorily equivalent to negligence, without proof of carelessness.

If a car driver drives the car on a pedestrian on the pavement or drives the car without lights in the night, the incident itself shows that the car driver negligently drove the vehicle and causes death of innocent persons.

The Courts must punish the car driver for his negligence, but should not think of his mental condition or personal feelings at the time of driving.

The Author "Micheal Robb" is an expert Legal adviser who owns and runs a site on Law,Rules and Regulations:


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