How, if at all, does the liability of a university differ regarding references given to potential employers in respect of current students.

Topics: Tort, Law, Negligence Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: March 25, 2014
Intro To Business Law N1072

University of Sussex
Word count: 1099

December 4, 2013

Critically evaluate, in relation to the common law duty of care, the liability of employers for references. How, if at all, does the liability of a university (such as the University of Sussex) differ regarding references given to potential employers in respect of current (or former) students.

Employers have a certain degree of liability when making statements in a former employee’s reference. Employees and employers have a duty of care, to provide valid descriptions of an individual’s quality and potential as a former employee, and thus a reasonable reference is, truthful and fair. It is up to employers to thus avoid inaccurate references that lead to negligent misstatements or misinterpretations on their part. It is known that in tort, liability arises by fault of a particular party or defendant. In other words, the modern causation of negligence is formed by evidence that coincide with people or companies that had a certain duty to provide civil obligations but their actions lead to a foreseeability of damage. To expand on this general area of tort law and compare it to that of a university and former student, cases have to be mentioned where the establishments of these rules were made to defend breaches in duty of care.

Negligence as law was first conceptualized in Donoghue v Stevenson1. The claimant’s case was successful against the manufacturer (defendant) of the ginger beer and went on to institute “the modern law of negligence and established the neighbor test”.2 The case is relevant as it expanded the idea that tort of negligence could arise in other situations. Lord Atkin stated what is known as his ‘neighbor speech’, where in order for the defendant to have duty of care for a claimant, “there should exist between the party owing the duty and the party to whom it is owed, a relationship characterized by the law as one of proximity or...


Bibliography: 1. "Donoghue v Stevenson." Donoghue v Stevenson. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
2. Maclntyre, Ewan. "The Law of Torts 1." Introduction to Business Law. 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson Education, 2012. 258-304. Print.
4. "Neighbour Principle." Law Teacher. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. .
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