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Transcript of NUISANCE
"Few words in the legal vocabulary are
bedevilled with so much obscurity and confusion as
Concerned with protecting against a particular type of harm, arising from an unreasonable interference with another's rights
Types? Public Nuisance & Private Nuisance
Associated with "The Rule in Rylands v Fletcher" (Next week)
Structure of the lectures
Covers situations where a person has been
subjected to an
inconvenience or damage in the exercise of
rights which are common to all
Crime v Tort
AG litigates - Why?
The role of
Academic & Jurisdiction Difference of Opinion
Here? = Difference in nature
Smith v Wilson 
(See quote on handout)
Castle v St. Augustine Links (1922)
Corby Group v Corby Borough Council 
Get your critical analysis hat on!
Reality? - position not clear - case by case
basis beyond that which is already established
Types of Public Nuisance
Obstructions on the Highway!
Important Element = Unreasonableness
R V Johnson (Court of Appeal, Criminal Division)
Public Nuisance on the Highway
Key aspect that the courts look for:
Which/Whose right over the highway
is most important
R v Jones (1812)
R v Cross (1812)
Basis of Liability?
Claimant must show that the nuisance
arose and the defendant
adopted or continued
Note the difference from Negligence and the role of the DEFENCES
As an aside....
Courts will impose absolute liability where there has been a withdrawal of lateral support of land (leading to subsidence) or lateral support to buildings
where the right attaches.
with rights related to the
occupation of the land
Bamford v Turnley (1862)
1. Not unreasonable if it is insubstantial
2. Not unreasonable it results from a necessary act
3. Not unreasonable if it results from reasonable use of the land (Bramwell, B)
Point of Confusion...
Nuisance v Trespass
Some grey areas....
• physical injury to the land
• substantial interference with enjoyment of the land
• interference with servitudes
Physical Injury to the Land?
Where D causes this by a positive act = almost strict liability
Roots? (Davey v Harrow Corporation)
Margate Pier & Harbour v Margate Town Council (11) (1869)
St Helens’ Smelting Company v Tipping (1865)
Hunter v Canary Wharf (1996)
A substantial interference with the enjoyment of land...
Results in "personal inconvenience and interference with one's enjoyment, one's quiet, one's personal freedom, anything that decomposes or injuriously affects the senses or the nerves"
When deciding who is liable....
Utility of D's conduct
Gravity of Harm likely to result from conduct
Utility of Conduct (a lot of subheadings here)
Bellew v Northern Ireland Cement Company Limited (1948)
Contrast with....Miller v Jackson (1977)
Nature of area must be taken into account
Unusual or sensitive activity
Nature of the area must be taken into account
New Imperial & Windsor Hotel Co v Johnston (1912)
St. Helen's v Tipping (1865)
Sturges V Bridgman (1879)
"what would be a nuisance in Belgrave Sq. would
not necessarily be one in Bermondsey"
Unusual or sensitive activity?
RULE: If the occupant is engaged in a particularly unusual or sensitive activity they may not be able to argue that they have been subjected to an unreasonable interference
Robinson v Kilvert (1889)
Metropolitan Properties Ltd v Jones (1939)
Christie v Davey (1893)
Frazer v Booth
Modern day application....
Gravity of harm?
Depends on extent AND kind of injury
What can you claim for?
Emerging/Controversial issue alert
Khorasandjian v Bush (1993)
Who can sue?
USUALLY those with proprietary interest in land
Who can be sued?
Creator of Nuisance
Tetley v Chitty (1986)
Chartered Trust plc v Davies (1997)
Sedleigh - Dewfield v O'Callaghan
If nuisance = inevitable consequence of performance of activity authorised by statute - defence is available
Allen v Gulf Oil Refining LTD
Planning Act 2008?
Only to be used in PRIVATE nuisance
Acquisition/extinction of rights brought about by continuous use without objection
Sturges v Bridgman?