Apr 02
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
HKU Private Law and Theory Speaker Series: Non-Contractual Assumptions of Responsibility

HKU Private Law and Theory Speaker Series
Non-Contractual Assumptions of Responsibility


Date: 2 April 2024 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 PM
Venue: Room 901, 9/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU




Generally, individuals do not have rights that others come to their careful assistance. In tort, one central concept that determines when such rights arise is ‘assumption of responsibility’. This lecture argues that there are multiple different principles that travel under the single label of assumption of responsibility, including a principle based on the risk of detrimental reliance, a principle based on the occupation of particular relationships or roles, and a principle based on taking charge of a person or thing. The lecture illustrates the distinctiveness of these principles and the consequent need for the law to disaggregate them. It concludes by considering the implications of this analysis for the question of when and why the law should enforce voluntary undertakings beyond the law of contract.


Professor Sandy Steel, Professor of Law and Philosophy of Law, University of Oxford


Sandy Steel is Professor of Law and Philosophy of Law in the Faculty of Law at Oxford and Lee Shau Kee’s Sir Man Kam Lo Fellow in Law at Wadham College. He held visiting appointments at the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, the University of Münster, and New York University. He has written about torts, private law theory, and general jurisprudence. His work has been cited by the UK Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the High Court of Australia.


Chair: Professor Peter Chau, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, HKU


All are Welcome! Please register at https://bit.ly/3x2iEQQ to attend this in-person event.
For inquiries: Flora Leung at

Back to Events