08th October 2008
What is Tort law for?
▪The law of tort- The word derives from the French for ‘Wrong’. ▪ The civil action for damages aims at compensation as opposed to criminal prosecution. Restoring the status quo. ▪Appeasement- the object of early law is to prevent disruption of society by disputes arising from the infliction of injury. The victim’s vengeance is bought off by compensation, which gives him satisfaction in 2 ways; he is comforted to receive the money and he is pleased that the aggressor is discomfited by being made to pay. ▪Justice- The law of tort was thought to be the expression of a moral principle. A person, who had caused damage to another, ought as a matter of justice to make compensation. ▪Deterrence- the action in tort is designed to control the future conduct of the community . Bentham; both criminal punishment and tort damages were sanctions and therefore evils. The purpose of threatening them was to secure obedience to rules. However, negatives are that damages in tort may be far greater than is needed as a warning. ▪Compensation- One who has caused injury to another must make good the damage whether he was at fault or not. Ethical compensation.
Which of the three cases would you have decided the other way? Case: Haley v L.E.B 1965 AC 778
▪ Blind man (Appellant) was walking along the pavement, he injured himself as he tripped over a long hammer left on the ground by the respondent company’s employee. The object was of warning passers-by of a trench which he had been digging at the spot. ▪The appellant was alone but approached with reasonable care, waving his white stick in front of him to detect objects in his way. It was accepted that the hammer gave adequate warning of the trench for ‘normally sighted persons’. ▪It was put in evidence that 1/500 people were blind, in Woolwich there were 258 registered blind. The Post Office took account of the blind, 2ft high fence. ▪HOL held that the...
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