Photo of Peter Handford

Peter Handford

Emeritus Professor, LLB Birm., LLM PhD Camb.

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 20 Citations
  • 3 h-Index
1968 …2019
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Personal profile


Peter taught at the Law School between 1977 and 2016 (continuing in a part-time capacity between 1983 and 1998 when he was the Executive Officer and Director of Research of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia). He was appointed a Professor in 2004. Peter was the Law School's Deputy Dean until September 2012. Between 2009 and 2012 he was responsible for curriculum reform and planning the transition from the LLB to the JD. He retired in July 2016 and is now a Senior Honorary Research Fellow.

Office: Law Link Building Room 1.40

Roles and responsibilities

Peter has been a member of the editorial board of the Tort Law Review since 1993. He was the Executive Officer and Director of Research of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia between 1983 and 1998, and in that capacity was the author of reports on limitation of actions, wills, probate, spent convictions, Police Act offences and sale of goods. He was also a member of the Commission between 1993 and 1995. Between 1995 and 1997 he was the Western Australian representative on the Uniform Succession Law National Project Committee, and currently sits on the Attorney General's Working Group reviewing the law of succession in Western Australia.

Peter is a member of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme Advisory Committee, and the chair of the sub-committee responsible for the oral history programmee and the Old Court House Museum. The Francis Burt Law Education Programme provides community legal education programmes and promotes the community's understanding of the law and the legal system.

Previous positions

Lecturer in Law, University of Leicester, England, 1970-78
Executive Officer and Director of Research, Law Reform Commission of Australia, 1983-1998
Member, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, 1993-1995

Current projects

Peter is currently completing the new edition of his text on Tort Liability for Mental Harm, and is also writing a new edition of his text on Limitation of Actions.

Teaching overview

Peter taught Torts in the JD degree, and also the LLB optional unit Advanced Torts Law (in partnership with Professor Evelyn Ellis, Emeritus Professor of Public Law at Birmingham University in the UK, and in 2016 with Dr Brenda McGivern). He also taught Torts in the LLB degree.

In past years he has taught other units including Legal Process (continuously from 1982 to 2006), Contract, Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws, and the LLM unit Limitation of Actions.


Peter's major research interests lie in the field of torts, in particular liability for psychiatric injury, limitation of actions, and law reform.

He also has a special interest in comparative law, both generally and in relation to torts in particular.

Recent research projects include
'Lord Campbell and the Fatal Accidents Act' (published in the Law Quarterly Review in 2013); 'The Snail's Antipodean Adventures', on duty of care in Australia (paper given at the 80th Anniversary Donoghue v Stevenson Conference in Glasgow, May 2012, published in the Juridical Review in 2014); and the relationship between the common law of occupiers' liability, the Occupiers' Liability Acts and the Civil Liability Acts, undertaken jointly with Dr Brenda McGivern (two articles published in the Melbourne University Law Review).


  • Torts/ Mental Health
  • Torts
  • Limitation Of Actions
  • Legal History
  • Comparative law
  • Conflict of laws
  • Law reform
  • Legal history and biography
  • Legal process
  • Limitation of actions
  • Tortious liability for psychiatric injury

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Peter Handford is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 1968 2019

Psychiatric injury: Charting the limits of liability

Handford, P., Aug 2019, In : Precedent. 153, p. 14-17

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

common law
court decision

The Brave New World of Psychiatric Injury in Canada

Handford, P., Apr 2018, In : Tort Law Review. 25, 3, p. 136-142 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Limitation of Actions: The Laws of Australia

Handford, P. R., 2017, 4th ed. Sydney: Lawbook Co. 425 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Law School Now and Then: From 1928 to the Juris Doctor

Handford, P. R., Jun 2017, Brief, 44, 5, p. 24-27 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

school law
legal profession

Tort liability for mental harm

Handford, P., 2017, 3rd ed. NSW: Thomson Reuters. 1137 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook