Archive for October 5th, 2015

October 5, 2015

Reasonable Person

duty of care

dwight Schrute by Cindy Lesman

In law, a ‘reasonable person‘ is a composite of a relevant community’s judgment as to how a typical member of said community should behave in situations that might pose a threat of harm (through action or inaction) to the public. It is an emergent concept of common law (judicial precedent), with no accepted technical definition. As a legal fiction (a fact assumed by courts for purposes of expediency), the ‘reasonable person’ is not an average person or a typical person, leading to great difficulties in applying the concept in some criminal cases, especially in regards to the partial defence of provocation.

Legal humorist A. P. Herbert called the reasonable person an ‘excellent but odious character’: ‘He is an ideal, a standard, the embodiment of all those qualities which we demand of the good citizen … [he] invariably looks where he is going, … is careful to examine the immediate foreground before he executes a leap or bound; … neither stargazes nor is lost in meditation when approaching trapdoors or the margins of a dock; … never mounts a moving [bus] and does not alight from any car while the train is in motion, … uses nothing except in moderation, and even flogs his child in meditating only on the golden mean.’

read more »