Is a "wilful act" an intentional act that can never exist without the agent's intention (e.g. similar to "dolo" in Spanish)? Or can an act that I didn't desire the outcome, but that I performed consciously, be considered an "wilful act"?

By the same token, is "gross negligence" necessarily an omission, or can an act performed without due care be considered grossly negligent (similar to "culpa" in Spanish, in the strict sense)?

In case it makes a difference, I'm asking this in regard to contract-law liability.

Thank you very much!

  • "gross negligence" is certainly not necessarily an omission. Comment because I can't answer on "wilful act". Feb 20, 2017 at 13:21
  • It might be helpful to see the context of "wilful act". Feb 20, 2017 at 13:21
  • @MartinBonner unfortunally there's no real context, it just says regading to liability: "provided such damage was not caused by a wilful act or gross negligence.". But I think "wilful" always means "intentionally" and "consciously", "striving for a certain goal"
    – flen
    Feb 22, 2017 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


I'm fairly confident now that "wilful act" can be translated as "dolo" in Spanish, and "gross negligence" as "culpa grave". That is, an "wilful act" is a conscious act that was deliberated by the agent. While a "gross negligence" can be a http://thelawdictionary.org/commissive/">commissive act as well as an omission.

Concerning wilful, Merriam Webster says:

Legal Definition of willful
Willful : not accidental : done deliberately or knowingly and often in conscious violation or disregard of the law, duty, or the rights of others

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