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Jane Stapleton

  • Ernest E. Smith Professor


  • DPhil Oxford
  • DCL Oxford
  • LLB The Australian National University
  • PhD Adelaide University
  • BS The University of New South Wales

Jane Stapleton specializes in the law of Torts. As a result of her work on three continents, she offers a comparative perspective that complements the Law School's strength in these fields. She continues to serve as a Research Professor of Law at the Australian National University College of Law in Canberra, Australia. Stapleton is also a Statutory Visiting Professor of Law at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, where she taught for a dozen years before moving to the ANU in 1997. In 2011-12 she was Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professor of Legal Science, University of Cambridge. In the UK she is an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn, in the US she is a Council Member of the American Law Institute and in Australia she is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of Law. She has accepted invitations to teach and lecture as a Visiting Professor in the United Kingdom, the USA (teaching Torts at Columbia and Harvard), Germany, Spain, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Colombia and Brazil. She has acted as a consultant in major commercial, pharmaceutical, medical and environmental litigation in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Her scholarship centers on the private law of obligations, liability and compensation systems, and ranges from comparative product liability to the philosophical foundations of common law concepts such as causation, duty, and good faith. Apart from authoring many journal articles, she is the author of Disease and the Compensation Debate (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986) and Products Liability (London: Butterworths, 1994), and co-editor of Essays for Patrick Atiyah (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) and The Law of Obligations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).

The Torts & Compensation Section of the Association of American Law Schools bestowed the 2013 William L. Prosser Award on Professor Stapleton: the award "recognize[s] outstanding contributions of law teachers in scholarship, teaching and service in ... torts and compensation systems ".

Recent Publications

  • Unnecessary Causes, 129 Law Quarterly Review 39 (2013).
  • Factual Causation, Mesothelioma and Statistical Validity, 128 Law Quarterly Review 221 (2012).
  • The Fairchild Doctrine: Arguments on Breach and Materiality, 71 Cambridge Law Journal 24 (2012).

Full list of publications…

Recent Activities

  • “Philosophy and Law: the case of causation”

    September 10, 2012

    Harvard Law School

    Delivered paper to the HLS Program on the Foundations of Private Law

  • ‘Unnecessary Causes: Hotson, Bailey v MoD, Sienkiewicz etc’

    November 17, 2011

    Inner Temple Hall, London

    Delivered the Richard Davies QC Memorial Lecture

Full activities list…

Headshot photo of

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Photo credit: Steph Swope

Contact Information

Jane Stapleton

Work (512) 232-1309

Fax (512) 471-6988

Office: TNH 4.111
The University of Texas at Austin
727 E Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705

Faculty Assistant

Sarah A. Shamburg
(512) 232-1106

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