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Brief Introduction on Reasonable Person Standard

In: Other Topics

Submitted By EllenXu
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Reasonable Person
In the text “an overview of tort law” in Unit 6, several paragraphs are devoted to discussion on this standard. In fact, reasonable person standard is applied as a useful tool widely in both tort law and criminal law and sometimes even contract law. This explains why I believe that it is high time that we discuss this standard now since we covered criminal law in the last semester and have just finished learning its part in contract law and tort law.

For instance, when there is a difference between the contracting parties in the understanding of a contract, RPS will be applied. The judge shall not decide subjectively which party’s understanding of the contract is right. Instead, he should determine the right version by adopting the conclusion which will be drawn by a reasonable person on that disputed contract.

When it comes to determine whether an accused is liable for a given offence, his or her conduct will be compared to that of a reasonable person under similar circumstances.



stated the defendant "was [duty] bound to proceed with such reasonable caution as a prudent man would have exercised under such circumstances."


arguing the jury should have instead been instructed to consider "whether he acted bona fide to the best of his judgment; if he had, he ought not to be responsible for the misfortune of not possessing the highest order of intelligence."

The court, composed of Tindal CJ, Park J and Vaughan J, rejected the defendant's argument, holding that the lower court's jury instructions were correct and therefore affirming the verdict. The court stated that to judge,

Personal circumstances

In many common law systems, children under the age of 6 or 7 are typically exempt from any liability, as they are deemed to be unable to understand the risk involved in their actions....

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