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Elements of tort liability

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Carrie Bradshaw

on 14 November 2016

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Transcript of Elements of tort liability

Trespass to the person (including):
Consent (?), cf
Freeman v HO (No 2)
Self-defence -
Incapacity and necessity - Mental Capacity Act 2005,
F v W Berkshire HA
contributory negligence (
Co-operative Group Ltd v Pritchard
Actionable Conduct
Obligations 1
Monday 14 November 2016

Elements of tort liability
Trespass to the person
Intentional interference with the person
Trespass to the person
- assault, battery and false imprisonment
Careless / Negligent
The defendant was careless or 'at fault', but conduct was 'unintentional'

Example torts:
Negligence (next week)
Conduct is faultless, but liability still imposed (no intention or carelessness of any sort required)

Example torts:
Trespass to land
Defamation and privacy
Rylands v Fletcher
, private nuisance (?)
actionable on proof of material damage

Rylands v Fletcher
(think about the available defences)
Private nuisance (think about the requirement of foreseeability)
or the 'standard of liability'
or protected rights & interests
per se
Trespass to the person
Vindicating certain 'constitutional rights' (Weir)
Line drawing?
Can you commit 'intentional' torts 'negligently'? See
Letang v Cooper, Ashley v CC Sussex Police
A v Hoare.
Wilkinson v Downton
Elements (i) and (ii) (
OPO v Rhodes
See also
Wainwright v Home Office
Trespass to the person, e.g. battery
intention for direct physical contact (
Williams v Humphrey)
What is the standard of liability / relevant actionable conduct under PHA 1997? See ss 1(1), (2) and 7(2) -
Jones v Ruth
The action in
Wilkinson v Downton
- intentional infliction of harm
Protection from Harassment Ac
(PHA) 1997
- prohibits a course of conduct amounting to 'harassment'
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Range of interests - right to privacy, intrusion, publications, the impact of 'human rights'
(See also e.g.
, unlawful means economic torts, deceit, public nuisance - we'll see some of these in Obs 2)

Wainwright v Home Office)
PHA 1997, ss 3 and 3A
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
, s 1(3)
preventing or detecting crime
pursued under an enactment or rule of law
conduct was 'reasonable in the circumstances'
See also
Hayes v Willoughby [2013] UKSC 17
(Term 2: defences and 'strict liability')
(See also e.g. trespass to land, private nuisance and conversion)
Some questions to think about...
Wilkinson v Downton
Note: more on this in Plenary 7
Term 2: query the strictness of so-called strict liability torts
Full transcript