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Law and change: Scottish legal heroes
Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

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3 The global influence of Donoghue

Expansions and contractions of the duty of care in the law of delict (negligence) and applications to new factual situations in the decades since 1932 have always been measured against Donoghue and Lord Atkin’s neighbour principle in particular. The speeches in the House of Lords were delivered on 26 May 1932.

Within a few short years, the language of Lords Atkin, MacMillan and Buckmaster had become common currency throughout the common law jurisdictions of the British Commonwealth and USA, where, in a number of instances, expansions of the duty of care in negligence significantly exceeded the ratio in Donoghue. Those extensions were, among others, to find a duty of care not to cause property damage, physical injury and psychiatric injury. In some jurisdictions the scope of a duty of care in negligence has be expanded wider than others. What follows is an anecdotal survey of negligence in other jurisdictions.