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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds NICOLE MOLLARD: If a guy pushes you in the pub and spills your beer, does he have to buy you a new one? It raises is a whole lot of interesting issues in law. The fact that they have bumped you is not going to be an actionable battery, because those every day kind of bumpings, the law are just accepts they’re going to happen. They happen on trams, they happen in sporting events, they happen in pubs.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds That your beer got spilled, well, it has the potential to be a tort in relation to goods, but in reality, it’s not the kind of matter that you want to be litigating, and it’s not the kind of right that you want to be enforcing in a pub. You don’t want to run the risk of there being a punch up, with some batteries and some assaults. You don’t want to be standing in front of the door and not letting someone pass until they’ve bought you a drink, because that would be a false imprisonment.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds The sensible thing would be if they offered to buy you a new one, and if you politely declined their offer and just accepted that these are the sorts of things that can happen in everyday life, because if there is one thing that tort law should teach us, it’s that we have to get along with our neighbors. And being an ordinary, polite, kind person is going to get you an awful lot further than relying on your strict legal rights in that kind of situation.

In answer to that question...

In the trailer for the course, Nicole asked “If a guy pushes you in a pub and spills your beer, does he have to buy you a new one?” In this video, she explores the legal and social responsibility we have towards others.

Talking Point

In the Comments, consider sharing your thoughts on the tension between ‘strict legal rights’ and ‘just getting along’, and how accepting everyday situations as a part of life without pursuing legal intervention can lead to a more harmonious society.

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This video is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University