Criminal Law

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Doctrine of vicarious liability
The doctrine of vicarious liability generally operates within the law of torts. It has become well-established in English law and historically has been called “Master and Servant liability,” which clearly indicates the circumstances in which the doctrine becomes applicable in tort law.
The general rule in tort law is that a person who authorises a tort will personally be liable for damage or harm as a result. However, vicarious liability defines the circumstances in which a person is liable for the torts of another without express authorisation or ratification. The most common example of vicarious liability is the liability of an employer for the torts of his employees committed in the course of
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In the Court of Appeal case of Mattis v. Pollock (t/a Flamingos Nightclub) a nightclub owner was held vicariously liable for the violent acts of an employed doorman. The Court of Appeal applied the rationale of Lister and held that a “broad” approach was required in assessing whether an individuals acts were sufficiently connected with the duties of his employment so as to justify imposing vicarious liability.

Vicarious Liability under a statutory duty
An employer can also be held vicariously liable for an employee's breach of a statutory duty. This duty differs to that of a common law duty in that the duty does not rise by operation of common law principles, but by statute. As such, the statute imposes a duty on the employee personally and makes no reference to the employer. An employer can be held liable for the breach of a statutory duty even where the statutory duty is owed by the employee personally and individually. This circumstance would potentially arise in the context of harassment within the workplace, where one employee has been harassed or bullied by another- see the case of Majrowski v. Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Trust. However, emphasis will be placed on the intention of the legislature in creating the statute in deciding whether vicarious liability should be imposed.
Where vicarious liability is imposed on an employer, both the

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