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Title: The ‘bonus paterfamilias’ and the ‘reasonable person’ in Maltese legislation and jurisprudence
Authors: Baldacchino, James
Keywords: Negligence -- Malta
Reasonable care (Law) -- Malta
Torts -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine the implications of the co-existence of several ideal persons in the Maltese legal system; specifically the Bonus Paterfamilias (BPF) and the Reasonable Person (RP) or the Reasonable Man (RM). The presence of more than one objective ideal type of responsibility is linked to the mixed nature of the Maltese jurisdiction, where influences from both the Common and Civil Law worlds have left profound imprints. This paper attempts to analyse the Maltese Courts’ interpretation of the BPF and, the RM/RP, in jurisprudence, and the reasons behind the court’s choice of referring to one ideal person instead of the other. Most importantly however, is first to explore the nature and significance of the theoretical and historical differences between these objective ideal standards; and how they are empirically invoked in practice. Through the research conducted, it has been observed that these ‘ideal persons’ share similar genealogy - the BPF, being the ancestor of the RM which later developed into the RP. The latter may have evolved through its adaptation to modern society, whereas the BPF is a more antiquated figure. The paper concludes that the Maltese Courts’ decisions whether, and how to refer to the BPF, the RP and the RM are not dictated by or related to the substantial distinctions between these concepts, but reflect a syncretic approach which treats these concepts as in practice, homologous.
Description: LL.B.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2016
Dissertations - FacLawCiv - 2016

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