Liability (Ro.: răspundere, Gr.: ευθύνη, Cz.:  odpovědnost) (See also malpractice) = someone’s legal responsibility for the consequences of one of his/her actions or omissions; 

The main types of liability are criminal and civil liability (the last divides into delictual liability and contractual liability). 

Joint and several liability ~ = when two or more persons are responsible for the same action/omission. Presumed there is a previous agreement between them, the liability is binding on all members of the group (not necessarily proportional). The enforcing party can choose to hold responsible any member of the group or all of them together.

Vicarious ~ (răspundere indirectă) = someone’s legal responsibility for a third party’s harmful action. This type of responsibility arises when the responsible party has a particular legal relationship with the third party. For example, the responsibility of the employer for the actions of the employee due to the relation of subordination during the working program.


Useful links

Civil Liability

Criminal Liability

Vicarious liability in various law sistems from Europe

Online publications - Olteanu, Bogdan, Civil liability in the internal law of the European Union member states - Kemelmajer, de Carlucci, Aida, Present and future of the civil liability - Wight, Jonathan, The imposition of strict liability in certain criminal offences is a necessary evil in the fight to protect the public from harm - Bergelson, Vera, Victims and Perpetrators, An Argument for Comparative Liability in Criminal Law - Perry, David, United Kingdom, Secondary Liability In The Criminal Law - Rose, Paul T., Vicarious liability in tort in respect of deliberate wrongdoing - Booth, Joseph W.,  An Update on Vicarious Liability for Certified Nurse-Midwives/Certified Midwives

Legislation  - German Civil Code - French Civil Code

Case law - case of Powell against UK


Bergkamp, Lucas, 2001, Netherlands, Liability and environment, Kluwer Law International

Wilde, Mark, 2001, Netherlands, Civil liability for environmental damage, Kluwer Law International

Gruner, Richard S., 2007, New York, Corporate criminal liability and prevention, Law Journal Press

Clarkson, C. M. V., Cunningham, Sally, 2008, USA, Criminal liability for non-aggressive death, Ashgate

Giliker, Paula, 2009, New York, Vicarious liability in tort – a comparative perspective, Cambridge University Press

Braffet, James Harvey, 1924, California, Vicarious Liability and the Family Purpose Doctrine, University of California

Faure, Michael, 2009, UK, Tort Law and Economics, Cheltenham


By Ioana Bărăian