Explain the Origin and the Concept of ‘Neighbour Principle’. Illustrate with Decided Cases the Application of This Principle.

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ASSIGNMENT QUESTION 2

Explain the origin and the concept of ‘Neighbour Principle’. Illustrate with decided cases the application of this principle.

Above all, I want to explain the ‘Neighbour Principle’’. Lord Atkin stated his famous neighbour Principle as was that 'You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour `.This is sometimes known as the neighbour principle.

By `neighbour`, Lord Atkin did not mean the person who lives next door, but `persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that i ought to have them in contemplation as being so affected when i am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question`. The test of foresee ability is objective; the court asks not what the defendant actually foresaw, but what a reasonable person could have been expected to foresee.

Neighbour principle is one of a kind of circumstance in Negligence. Negligence is the most important tort in modern law. It concerns breach of a legal duty to take care, with the result that damage is caused to the claimant. Torts other than negligence are normally identified by the particular interest of the claimant that protect. For example, nuisance protects against interference with the claimant's use and enjoyment of land, while defamation protects against damage to reputation.

`Negligence` is defined in Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort as `the breach of a legal duty to take care which results in damage, undesired by the defendant, to the plaintiff` .There is no one single definition of the word `tort` or tortious liability` that is acceptable to the author as being complete enough to tell a reader what `tort` or tortious liability` is all about. One of the better definitions is given by Winfield and reads as follow: ` tortious liability` arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by the law; this duty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages. The law of tort in Malaysia is largely derived from the common law of England.

Torts other than negligence are normally identified by the particular interest of the claimant that they protect .For example, nuisance protects against interference with the claimant’s use and enjoyment of land, while defamation protects against damage to reputation. By contrast, negligence protects against three different types of harm:

a) personal injure;
b) damage to property;
c) economic loss;

In practice, the rules of the tort may differ according to which type of harm has been suffered, but all of them are protected by negligence. The tort of negligence has three main elements:
a) the defendant must owe the claimant a duty of case;
b) the defendant must breach that duty of case;
c) the failure must cause damage to the claimant;

Lord Atkin stated his famous neighbour Principle as was that 'You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour `. By `neighbour`, Lord Atkin did not mean the person who lives next door, but `persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that i ought to have them in contemplation as being so affected when i am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question`. The test of foresee ability is objective; the court asks not what the defendant actually foresaw, but what a reasonable person could have been expected to foresee.

In other words, this rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes, in law, you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer's question. Who is my neighbour? Receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who; then, in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be-persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act...
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