Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Per Se

             Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Per Se




 The maxim means that “He who acts through another, is acting himself”. In general, a person is responsible for his own actions, but there are exceptional instances in which the law holds him liable for the wrongs of others, i.e., there are cases in which the law holds him liable for the acts of others, regardless of whether or not he is at fault. In other words, when the law holds one person liable for the misdeeds of another despite the fact that he is personally blameless or at fault, this peculiar legal position is known as 'Vicarious Liability,' or liability incurred for another. The most common example is the master's culpability for the wrongdoing of his servants. In such instances, there is joint and multiple culpability. The plaintiff can sue both his principal and the actual wrongdoer, whether he is a servant or an agent.


This rule of vicarious liability arises from the English Doctrine in the legal presumption that-all acts done by the servant in and about his master's business are done with his master's express or implied authorization and are thus in actuality his master's acts for which he may be held justly responsible.



Basics and Reasons

The doctrine of vicarious liability is based on principles which can be summed up in following two maxims-

  1. Qui facit via alium facit per se: This maxim states that "he who performs an act through another is considered to be performing it himself in the eyes of the law." This idea is the source of the master's responsibility for his servant's actions. Because a person who places another in his position to perform a set of acts in his absence must leave to determine, according to the circumstances, when such act is to be performed and trust him in the manner in which it must be performed, he is responsible for the wrongdoing of the person so entrusted either in the manner of performing such act, or in the manner in which it must be performed. or in performing such an act in circumstances where it should not have been performed: provided that what is done is not done on the servant's desire but in the course of his or her job.

  2. Respondeat Superior: This means ‘let the principle be liable’ or ‘the superior must be responsible’ or ‘a principal must answer for the acts of his subordinates’.  In such instances. The one who commands, as well as the one who obeys, becomes equally culpable. This principle places the master in the same situation as if he had performed the act himself. The master is both responsible and liable for any wrongdoing done by the servant throughout his employment. Similarly, any tort approved by the principal and committed by the agent is jointly and severally accountable as joint wrongdoers.

By combining these two maxims, the master is placed in the same situation as if he had committed the wrong himself, and he is held responsible for his servant's wrongs due to his superior financial status to that of his subordinate. The reasons why a master should be held liable for his servant's actions are as follows:

  • He promotes his business interests;

  • He's a more promising source of remuneration;

  • He's the one who gets things started.

  • He has command over the servant.

  • He reaps the advantages of his servant's actions; and

  • He has the most money in his pocket.

Liability arising out of special relationship

Liability for another's wrongful acts or omissions can occur when a person is in a relationship with the wrongdoer that renders the former responsible for the latter's wrongdoings, even if the latter was not directly allowed. Liability for wrongdoing arises from the relationship that exists between:

  • Principal and agent

  • Master and servant

  • Partners

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