Georgia Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Summer 1975), pp. 821-853


The common law rule of governmental immunity made governments immune from suit and held public officials personally liable for the torts they committed in the performance of their duties. In recent years, however, the law of tort liability has moved toward the increased immunity of governmental officials and employees and the increased liability of governmental units. In this Article Professor McManis first outlines the notion of sovereign immunity, following with an analysis of the nature and the scope of the immunity afforded governmental official sunder federal and state law, with a particular emphasis on the law of Georgia. The author next turns to the tort liability of public officials under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act and other federal statutes, and he concludes with suggested methods through which personal tort liability may be avoided by governmental officials and employees.