Trespass to the person


Theory and general principles of the intentional torts
Flashcards by pavlina.hunt, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by pavlina.hunt over 8 years ago

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Which are the torts of trespass to the person? - Battery - a direct and intentional application of unlawful physical contact ; - Assault - intentionally causing the apprehension of an imminent battery (Collins v Wilcock); - False imprisonment - intentional restraint on the freedom of movement of another; - Wilkinson v Downton - D wilfully acts in a way intending to cause harm to the claimant by indirect means, and this results in physical or psychiatric injury.
Common characteristics - committed intentionally (Letang v Cooper - distinguishes between negligence and trespass to the person); - take the form of direct harm by D's act; - actionable per se, that is, without proof of damage.
Battery (ingredients) (1) intentional application of unlawful force, but not need to be hostile (physical contact is required); (2) which is direct and immediate; and (3) for which D has no lawful justification or excuse (that is, no defence).
Intention (battery) - Williams v Humphrey - D pushed C in the pool causing harm, the action was intentional not to cause harm; - Bici v Ministry of Defence - 'transferred intent' D meant to hit A, but instead hit B, becoming liable for battery to B; - Nash v Sheen - the intention does not need to be hostile or malicious - trip to the hairdresser went wrong ending up with manky coloured hair and a rash.
Unlawful touching (battery) Any physical contact which was not generally acceptable in the ordinary conduct of everyday life. (no need for actual injury) Lord Goff in Collins v Wilcock affirmed in Re F
Direct (battery) It is interpreted very widely: - Scott v Shepherd - D threw firework, two stallholders threw it along afraid it might harm them, C suffered injuries, D liable in battery; - DPP v K - schoolboy put harmful chemical into a hairdryer causing injuries, was liable; - Haystead v Chief Constable of Derbyshire - D struck C causing her to drop the baby she was holding: constituted battery in relation to the baby.
Defences (battery) (burden of proof on D) - Self defence (resist unlawful arrest or harm to themselves, others or property) - Cockroft v Smith - the amount of force used has to be reasonable and in proportion to the situation; - Consent (proportionate force) - sporting activities; voluntary fighting; medical consent - Simms v Leigh (broken leg during professional rugby match); - Necessity - s 3 Criminal Law Act 1967 - reasonable force in the prevention of crime
Assault (ingredients) (1) D intends that C apprehends the application of unlawful force; (2) C reasonably apprehends the immediate and direct application of unlawful force; (3) for which D has no lawful justification or excuse.
Intention (assault) D must have acted voluntarily, and have intended to cause C to apprehend the application of immediate unlawful force, or be subjectively reckless as to the possibility that their actions will cause C to apprehend the application of such force.
Reasonable apprehension (assault) Objective test of apprehension, not fear of attack or if C were able to defend themselves. - Stephens v Myers - D went to strike C, but someone stopped him. C anticipated the strike -> assault
Immediate and direct application of unlawful force (assault) - Thomas v National Union of Mineworkers - workers transported past picket lines on buses were being threatened by those on strike, it was obvious that the threats could not be carried out -> NO assault - R v Ireland - words may amount to assault in rare circumstances if they cause C to apprehend immediate personal violence; no gesture is needed.
Defence (assault) (burden of proof on D) Consent - role play
False imprisonment (ingredients) (1) Intention to; (2) directly and completely restrain the freedom of movement; (3) which is not expressly or impliedly authorised by law.
Intention (false imprisonment) - Iqbal v Dean Manson Solicitors - a security guard in an office locked the door to C's room believing he has gone home. The locking was intentional, but not the imprisonment.
Direct (false imprisonment) If A asks B to lock C, then B is liable, unless B did not have a choice, like having a gun pointed at their head. Davidson v Chief Constable of North Wales - A store detective wrongly accused C of stealing. C brought a claim against him, but it was the police who imprisoned him on the information provided by D. Break in causation.
Complete restrain (false imprisonment) - The constraint must be total without reasonable means of escape - Bird v Jones (blocked off path on bridge is not, as C can turn back); - Reasonable restriction is not false imprisonment - Robinson v Balmain Ferry Co Ltd (he could have passed had he paid the agreed 1p); - Knowledge of the restrain is not necessary - Meering v Grahame-White Aviation - no knowledge of the two police officers outside of the detention room, who would have prevented him from leaving.
Without legal authorization (false imprisonment) R v Governor of Brockhill Prison, ex parte Evans - The lawful imprisonment only lasts as long as the sentence lasts. Wrong calculation by the prison added 59 days.
Defences (false imprisonment) (burden of proof on D) - Consent - Herd v. Weardale Steel, Coal and Coke Co - contractual agreement to work his mining shift to the end; - Statutes (lawful authority) - Prison Act, Mental Health Act, Police and Criminal Evidence Act; - Necessity - art. 5 ECHR - reasonable measures for crowd control in 'extreme and exceptional circumstances' - Austin v Metropolitan Police Commissioner
The tort in Wilkinson v Downton P suffered nervous shock after D told her falsely that her husband was involved in a serious accident. - intentional; - words or conduct (spooking someone) will suffice; - requires harm physical or recognised psychiatric illness; - indirect; - was reasonably likely to cause terror in a normal person, unless D was aware of the frailness of their victim.
Limitation period - Adults: Section 2 Limitation Act 1980 The action must be brought within 6 years of the tort being committed - Children: 6 years form turning 18
Remedies - Nominal damages - no injury = little money; - Punitive damages - abuse of power or injury big amount to make an example; - Declaration - no monetary value, just satisfaction from the recognition that the intervention was unlawful.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 A new form of action is available under the act in respect of: - a course of conduct (on at least two occasions); - pursued against C; - which alarmed C or caused distress.
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