About Professor Barbara McDonald

Barbara's research interests are: Liability for Negligence; Tort Law and Reform; Negligence; Professional and Fiduciary Liability; Remedies and Compensation for Injury and Loss; Trusts, particularly constructive trusts; and Media Law: Defamation, Privacy, Breach of Confidence.

Barbara McDonald is a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney, currently teaching in the areas of Torts, Equity, Torts and Contracts II and Media Law in the undergraduate programme, and Law of Obligations, Legal Reasoning and Common Law Systems, and Joint and Proportionate Liability in the postgraduate programme. She is currently the Director of the Faculty’s LLM in Europe programme which conducts courses in Berlin and Cambridge.

Barbara is a consultant to Freehills lawyers. She is also a member of the Bar Assocation of New South Wales.

She is a graduate of the University of Sydney in Arts and Law. After several years in the litigation department of a large Sydney commercial law firm, with a break to complete a Master of Laws at University College London in 1979-1980, she joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney as a part-time lecturer in 1982. She took up a full-time position in the Faculty in 1991. She was a Visiting Professor at University of Texas at Austin in 2000, teaching US Tort law. She was Pro Dean of the Sydney Faculty of Law from 2002-2004.

She has been the academic member of the Law Society of New South Wales Specialist Accreditation Board Personal Injuries Law Advisory Committee since its inception.

She is the co-editor of a casebook on the law of torts, and a member of the editorial board of the Torts Law Journal. She is also a contributing author to a textbook on the principles of equity. She has recently written a number of articles on tort reform, published in the Sydney Law Review, the Australian Bar Review, the Torts Law Journal and the Commercial Law Quarterly. She recently addressed the New South Wales Supreme Court Annual Conference of 2006 on the impact of legislative tort reform. Barbara is also commercial law co-editor of the monograph series of the Ross parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law within the Faculty of Law.

For a complete profile, please see here.

Selected publications

Edited Books
  • Cases on Torts, Federation Press, Sydney, 4th edition, 2007 with Ross Anderson and Stanley Yeo
  • (2005) 27 Sydney Law Review Special Issue: Tort Law, Editor, with Roger Magnusson, Law Book Company, Sydney
  • Cases on Torts, Federation Press, Sydney, 3rd edition, 2004, with Ross Anderson, Stanley Yeo and Jane Swanton
  • Cases on Torts, Federation Press, Sydney, 2nd edition, 1994, with Jane Swanton and Ross Anderson
  • Cases on Torts, Federation Press, Sydney, 1992, with Jane Swanton and Ross Anderson
Chapters in Books
  • “Constructive Trusts” in P Parkinson (ed) The Principles of Equity, Law Book Company, Sydney, 1996, with substantial revision for second edition, pages 721-797, in 2003.
  • “Injunctions”, with David Maclean, in P Parkinson (ed) The Principles of Equity, Law Book Company, 2nd edition, pages 629-666, 2003
  • “Marshalling” in P Parkinson (ed) The Principles of Equity, Law Book Company, Sydney,1996, pages 562-573
  • “Marshalling” in The Laws of Australia: Equity: Volume 15, Law Book Company, Sydney, 1995 Chapter 4, 23-37
  • “[Limitation of Actions in] Australia”, in E H Hondius (ed) Extinctive Prescription on the Limitation of Actions, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1995, pages 27-40
Journal Articles
  • “The impact of the Civil Liability legislation on the fundamental policies and principles of the common law of negligence” (2006) 14 Torts Law Journal 268-301
    Also available via SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=955949
  • “Princesses Privacy and Paparazzi” (2005-2006) 50 New York Law School Law Review 205-236
  • “The Theoretical Foundations of Fault and No-Fault Compensation” (2005) Australian Plaintiff
  • “Proportionate Liability in Australia: the devil in the detail” (2005) 26 Australian Bar Review 29-50.
    Also available via SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=934993
  • “Legislative Intervention in the Law of Negligence: The common law, statutory interpretation and tort reform in Australia” (2005) 27 Sydney Law Review 443-483.
    Also available via SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=934956
  • “The Common Law of Negligence”, (2003) Commercial Law Quarterly
  • “Immunities under Attack: The Tort Liability of Highway Authorities and their Immunity from Liability for Non-Feasance”, (2000) 22 Sydney Law Review, 411-434
  • “Professional negligence and valuation of land”, (2000) 74 Australian Law Journal 135-140 (with J Swanton)
  • “Liability in negligence for pure economic loss”, (2000) 74 Australian Law Journal, 17-22 (with J Swanton), cited by Fitzpatrick in (2000) Torts Law Journal 10.
  • “Communal ownership of indigenous artworks” (2000) Walking Together: Journal of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (with P. Loughlan)
  • “Concurrent liability in tort and contract- professional negligence and contributory negligence” (1999) 73 Australian Law Journal 541-544
  • “The High Court on exemplary damages”, (1999) 73 Australian Law Journal 402-405 (with J Swanton)
  • “Commentary on the Report of the Law Commission of Great Britain on Aggravated, Restitutionary and Exemplary Damages”, (1999) 7 Torts Law Journal 184-202 (with J Swanton)
  • “Proof of Causation in Claims for Negligence and Breach of Contract”, (1999) 73 Australian Law Journal 23-26 (with J Swanton)
  • “Landlords’ Liability for Injuries Caused by the Defective Condition of the Premises”, (1998) 72 Australian Law Journal 345-349 (with J Swanton)
  • “General Reliance Rejected as a Criterion of Liability of Public Authorities for Failure to exercise Statutory Powers,(1998) 72 Australian Law Journal, 668-672 (with J Swanton)
  • “Patients’ Right of Access to Medical Records: A Test Case”, (1997) 71 Australian Law Journal 332-338 (with J Swanton)
  • “Patients’ Right of Access to Medical Records: A Claim without a Category”, (1997) 71 Australian Law Journal 413-417 (with J Swanton)
  • “Reforms to the Law of Joint and Several Liability: Introduction of Proportionate Liability”, (1997) 5 Torts Law Journal 109-122 (with J Swanton).
  • “The Reach of the Tort of Negligence”, (1997) 71 Australian Law Journal 822-829 (with J Swanton)
  • “Issues in Medical Negligence”, (1996) 70 Australian Law Journal 688-692 (with J Swanton)
  • “Concurrent Liability in Tort and Contract under the Hedley-Byrne principle, (1995) 3 Torts Law Journal 131-148 (with J Swanton)
  • “Non-delegable Duties in the Law of Negligence”, (1995) 69 Australian Law Journal 323-327 (with J Swanton)
  • “Negligence in the Performance of Contractual Services: Actions in Tort by a Third Party to a Contract”, (1995) 69 Australian Law Journal 576-580 (with J Swanton)
  • “Compensation for Losses caused by Unauthorised Governmental Action”, (1995) 69 Australian Law Journal 868-870 (with J Swanton)
  • “Foreseeability in relation to negligent infliction of nervous shock”, (1995) 69 Australian Law Journal 945-948 (with J Swanton)
  • “Builders’ Liability for Negligence towards Subsequent Owners of the Property”, (1995) 69 Australian Law Journal 687-690 (with J Swanton)
  • Reforms to Liability in the Construction Industry (1994) 2 Torts Law Journal 285-293
  • “Medical negligence: the doctor’s duty to warn of risks and the role of expert evidence” (1993) Australian Law Journal 145-148
  • “Duty of care in negligence for Liability for Nervous Shock” (1992) 66 Australian Law Journal 386-388
  • “Purely economic loss -negligent building – liability of local councils” (1992) 66 Australian Law Journal 462-465
  • “Solicitors’ Liability: Tort, Contract or Both?”(1991) 4 Journal of Contract Law 121-128
Reports
  • “Report on the Common Law of Negligence” commissioned by NRMA Insurance Ltd 2002
Book Review
  • “David Weisbrot, Australian Lawyers”(1992)14 University of New South Wales Law Journal 201
Conference papers and presentations
  • “Damages for loss of chance in tort”, commentary to paper by Professor Michael Furmston, Sydney Law School, Ross Parsons Centre Commercial law series, 26 March 2007.
  • “A comparative perspective from the UK and New Zealand on Barristers’ Immunity in negligence”, Scientific Meeting of the Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales, November 2006
  • Presentation on Teaching, Course Experience and Graduate evaluations of the Faculty of Law, Law Faculty Discussion Day, with Helen Saunders, Teaching Improvement Grant project, University of Sydney, September 2006
  • “The impact of the Civil Liability legislation on the fundamental policies and principles of the common law of negligence”, Supreme Court of New South Wales Annual Conference, Leura, NSW, August 2006
  • “Optimal model in teaching law”, report of surveys conducted under CHASS Teaching Improvement Fund grant, with Fady Aoun, Law Faculty Retreat, September 2005
  • “Proportionate Liability One Year On”, Commercial Law Association, Sydney, October, 2005
  • “The Theoretical Foundations of Fault and No-Fault Compensation”, 2005 Australian Lawyers Alliance No-Fault Forum, Sydney
  • “Accountability of Councils, Negligence and the Civil Liability Act 2002, Environmental and Planning Law Association National Conference, Sydney, October 2005
  • “Proportionate Liability Reforms”, Commercial Law Seminar Series, Ross Parsons Centre for Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law, for Ebsworths Lawyer, July 2005
  • “Liability in Negligence of Public Authorities”, UNSW Law Faculty Continuing Education Seminar, May 2005
  • “Dangerous Liaisons: confidentiality and duties of the family doctor”, Tenth Greek-Australian Legal and Medical Conference, Greece, June 2005
  • “The Common Law in a Sea of Statutes: legislative intervention in the Law of negligence”, Working with Statutes Conference, Bar Association of New South Wales, Sydney, March 2005
  • “Princesses, Paparrazzi and Privacy: a tale of two princesses in the UK and Germany ”, invited presentation to Defamation Discussion Forum held at New York Law School, December 2004
  • “Proportionate Liability: Practical Implications of the Reforms”, Commercial Law Seminar Series, The Ross Parsons Centre for Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, September 2004
  • Panellist, “Regulating Conflicts of Interest in the Commercial World”, Commercial Law Seminar Series, The Ross Parsons Centre for Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, June 2004
  • “Vicarious Liability”, invited presentation to the NSW Chapter of the Australian Law and Economics Association, Sydney Law School, April 2004
  • “Constructive Trusts: Recent Developments”, Commercial Law Association of Australia, October 2003
  • Convenor and speaker at Public and Industry Forum on Tort Reform at Parliament House Sydney,2002.
  • “Vicarious liability and liability for Failing to supervise others: recent developments in the High Court”, Law Society of New South Wales Specialist Accreditation Personal Injury Law Conference, Canberra, May 2002.
  • “Theories of reputation in Australian Defamation Law”, UNSW Law Faculty Continuing Education Seminar, Sydney, March 2002
  • “The role of fault in the law of obligations”, Inaugural Obligations Conference, Melbourne University Law School, February 2002
  • “Legal and Ethical issues in Consent to Medical Treatment by a Minor”, invited address to Grand Rounds, Childrens’ Hospital Westmead, June 2001.
  • “Damages in Commercial Litigation” to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia National Forensic Accounting Conference, Sydney March 2001
  • “Teaching American Tort Law”, invited presentation at Torts Teachers Workshop, Research School of Social Sciences and Law Faculty, ANU, February, 2001
  • “Causation in Medical Negligence”, Australian Plaintiff Lawyers’ Association National Conference on Medical Negligence, Melbourne, 2000
  • “Chinese Walls and conflicts of interest”, Commercial Law Association of Australia, Sydney, 2000
  • “Developments in Liability Claims”, Australian Insurance Law Association Lecture Series, Sydney, 2000
  • Guest lecture, “Limits of Freedom of Speech under Defamation Law” Media Relations course, Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Sydney, 1999.
  • “Liability of Public Authorities”, Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association National Conference, Sydney, 2000
  • “Damages in Litigation” to Price Waterhouse Asia Pacific Regional Conference, with Professor David Harland, 1999
  • “Liability for Purely Economic Loss”, Commercial Law Association of Australia, Sydney, 1999
  • “Tort Liability of Public Authorities”, New South Wales Law Society Personal Injury Law Accredited Specialist Conference, Queensland, 1998
  • “Actions against public authorities: issues of duty and breach”, NSW Young Lawyers, Sydney, 1998
  • Convenor, seminar, “Conflict of Laws in Australia”, Continuing Legal Education Seminar for Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, 1998
  • “Punitive Damages, Hard Choices and High Stakes: Comment on the paper of Professor Bruce Fieldhusen”, Continuing Legal Education Seminar for Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, 1998
  • “Liability of auditors and Lawyers to Third Parties” Commercial law Association of Australia, Sydney, 1997
  • “Liability in negligence: re-assessing fundamental principles”, Personal Injury Accredited Specialist Law Conference, Canberra, ACT, 1997
  • “Liability in Negligence: re-assessing fundamental principles”, Law Society of New South Wales Continuing Education seminar, Sydney, 1997
  • “Negligence Revisited: the Duty of Care in Negligence”, College of Law, Sydney, 1997
  • “Law as a Career” seminar, Women Lawyers’ Association of New South Wales, Parliament House, Sydney, 1997
  • “Incorporating Restitution into Torts”, Torts Teachers’ Workshop, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne, 1997.
  • “Liability for economic loss”, Commercial Law Association of Australia seminar, 1996
  • “An analysis of claims for pure and consequential economic loss” speaker at professional development seminar at Freehill, Hollingdale and Page, Lawyers, Sydney, 1996