n South African Law Journal - Aquilian liability for negligently caused pure economic loss - its history and doctrinal accommodation

Volume 131, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This article has two aims. The first is to provide an historical account of the extension of Aquilian liability to negligently caused pure economic loss in South African law. The second is to solve a doctrinal problem created by that extension. How are the core rules of Aquilian liability - which deal with positive acts causing physical harm to person or property - to be adapted so as to accommodate it? A key feature of the solution proposed by this article is that it retains the basic structure and fundamental moral character of the core rules. Specifically, the proposed solution maintains that, in so far as Aquilian liability has been extended to pure economic loss, the basis for that liability is still actual and foreseeable non-patrimonial harm: either non-physical harm in respect of property or harm in respect of autonomy.

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