Law of Tort

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Law of Tort
Ian Yeats Paula Giliker Mary Luckham

2005

LLB BSc Accounting with Law / Law with Accounting BSc Management with Law / Law with Management

2660001 2770201 2770201

This subject guide was prepared for the University of London External Programme by: Ian Yeats, MA (Aberdeen), BCL, MA (Oxford), Barrister, Senior Lecturer in Law, Queen Mary College, University of London. Paula Giliker, MA (Oxon), BCL, PhD (Cantab), Barrister at Law, Fellow and Senior Law Tutor, St Hilda's College, Oxford. Mary Luckham, LLB, Assistant Director, University of London External Laws Programme. This is one of a series of subject guides published by the University. We regret that owing to pressure of work the authors are unable to enter into any correspondence relating to, or arising from, the guide. If you have any comments on this subject guide, favourable or unfavourable, please use the form at the back of this guide.

Publications Office The External Programme University of London Stewart House 32 Russell Square London WC1B 5DN United Kingdom www.londonexternal.ac.uk Published by the University of London Press © University of London 2005 Printed by Central Printing Service, University of London. Cover design by Omnis Partners, Glasgow All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Contents

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13

Introduction Negligence: basic principles Negligence: duty of care and breach of duty Negligence: causation and remoteness of damage Negligence: special problems Negligence: particular relationships Breach of statutory duty Particular statutory regimes: strict liability Intentional injuries to the person Interference with economic interests The law of nuisance and the rule in

5 13 17 31 51 75 89 99 119 139 151 175 201

Rylands v Fletcher
Defamation Miscellaneous

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Chapter 1 Introduction

Contents
Introduction 5 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Definition, aims and functions of tort 6 Sources 7 Recommended reading 9 How to use this subject guide 10 The examination 10

Introduction
Tort is a branch of the civil law (as opposed to criminal law) based on a claim that the defendant has caused injury or loss to the claimant by breaking a relevant obligation imposed by the general law. This definition tells you nothing about what conduct is tortious. You will understand that only when you know what counts as injury or loss and what obligations the law imposes. Very broadly, tort law is one of the methods by which people who have suffered injuries are compensated. It deals with whether losses should lie where they fall or should be transferred to someone thought to be ‘to blame’ (not necessarily in a moral sense) for what has happened. Of course the person ‘to blame’ will often be insured or will be a large company or government department and so the losses will often be spread more widely. For example, when a person is injured by a careless motorist, the motorist’s insurance company will pay the damages and the ultimate costs of the accident will fall on the general community who pay insurance premiums. Broadly speaking, the law of tort took its present shape in the nineteenth century although of course it has developed considerably since then. Those interested in a historical introduction may refer to Lunney and Oliphant pp.1–17; Winfield and Jolowicz pp.44–50. On the impossibility of a definition of tort see Murphy (2003) p.3: Winfield and Jolowicz (2002) p.4; on the aims or functions of tort see Winfield and Jolowicz (2002) pp.1–17; Markesinis and Deakin (2003) pp.1–7 and 37–41.

Objectives of this subject guide By the end of this subject guide, you should be able...
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