From Coultas to Alcock and Beyond: Will Tort Law Fail Women?

  • Barbara Hocking
  • Alison Smith


To begin with, this paper draws out the threads to the criticisms of law advanced by feminist theorists, focussing in particular upon arguments concerning the gendered nature of harms and injury. It then examines one particular area of tort law, that of nervous shock, in order to ask the question 'does tort law fail women'. An historical overview of cases reveals that a subtle moral scrutiny initially informed the legal outcome. However, step by step, the law has moved to recompense women, particularly mothers, and to recognise their suffering consequential upon harm to immediate family members.
Oct 30, 1995
How to Cite
HOCKING, Barbara; SMITH, Alison. From Coultas to Alcock and Beyond: Will Tort Law Fail Women?. QUT Law Review, [S.l.], v. 11, p. 120-156, oct. 1995. ISSN 2201-7275. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 feb. 2021. doi:
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