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The reasonable person is a legal fiction of normative appeal that plays an important role in many different areas of private law, public law and criminal law. Such standard is present in both contract and tort law. In the area of contract law, it can be used to determine contractual intent, breach of the standard of care or fairness of terms and conditions. In tort law, the reasonable person standard is applied to assess possible negligence. The reasonable person standard is based on the broader concept of reasonableness, which is used to derive various open ended legal expressions. Even though terms such as reasonable doubt, reasonable decision-making and reasonable care have different meanings, the concept of reasonableness acts as a common thread linking these instances of use. This paper attempts to convey an understanding of the reasonable person standard as it is applied in the civil law systems of Asian countries: who is the reasonable person and how can the reasonableness or “prudence” of his/her conduct be analyzed? After addressing these issues, the paper will analyze the application of the reasonable person standard in contract law and tort law of Asian civil law jurisdictions with a special focus on the legislation of Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines.
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