Tort - Topic 1 - Trespass to the Person Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Tort - Topic 1 - Trespass to the Person Deck (18)
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Define Assault

An intentional act by the Defendant causing the Claimant to reasonably apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force.

(R v Beasley)


Define Battery

The intentional direct application of unlawful force to another person.


Define false imprisonment

Act by the Defendant, which directly and intentionally causes complete restriction of the Claimant's liberty without lawful justification.


Within battery, define "intentional"

the defendant must intend only his actions, not the consequences (Wilson v Pringle)


Within Battery, define "direct application of force"

force must flow almost immediately and without intervention. Physical contact is not necessary.

- Definition if 'direct is broad (DPP, Scott v Shepherd)
- Slight physical contact is enough (Cole v Turner), even spitting (R v Cotesworth)


Within battery (and assault), clarify "unlawful force"

Physical contact that is generally acceptable in the ordinary conduct of everyday life will not be unlawful (F v West Berkshire Health Authority)


Within Assault, clarify "intentional act"

- Intentional conduct is necessary, if not, relevant tort is negligence (Letang v Cooper)

- Words, as well as actions, may constitute an assault (R v Ireland - "a thing said is a thing done")

- However, words may also negate an assault (Tuberville v Savage - "We're it not assize time")


Within assault, define "immediate"

"Within a minute or so" (R v Ireland)


Within assault, clarify "apprehend"

tested objectively i.e. 'would a reasonable person apprehend in those circumstances'


Within false imprisonment, clarify "act"

Must be an act (not omission) which is direct and intentional: Accidents are not convicted ( Sayer v Harlow)


Within false imprisonment, clarify "complete restriction"

If there is even one other way, no matter how inconvenient, the Defendant will not be convicted (Bird v Jones)


Is force required for false imprisonment?

No, words alone can commit this tort. (Davidson v C.C. of North Wales)


Defences available for trespass to the person:

1. Consent
2. Defence of the person
3. Defence of property
4. Necessity
5. Ex turpi
6. Statutory Authority
N.B. Defendant cannot allege contributory negligence.(CoOp v Pritchard) & (Pritchard)


Defence - Consent...

- May be implied or express consent

- Medical cases: a patient is deemed to have consented to medical treatment once informed in broad terms of the nature of the intended procedure. (Chatterton v Gerson)

- Medical cases: a doctor's failure to disclose risks will NOT invalidate the patient's consent. (Chester v Afshar)

- Sports cases: a sports competitor consents not only to all conduct within the rules of the sport, but also outside the rules, but within the spirits the sport. (Condon v Basi)


Defence - Defence to the person...

(Cockcroft v Smith): The defendant must establish that the force was:

- used in self-defence

- Reasonable

-Proportionate to the force used/threatened by the Claimant


Defence - Defence of property...

- One may take reasonable steps to defend one's property

- This includes taking reasonable steps to eject a trespasser (which might mean first asking trespasser to leave - Green v Goddard)


Defence - Necessity...

Defendant must show (1) that a situation of necessity existed, and (2) that his actions were reasonable

F v West Berkshire Health Authority:
- an emergency situation where the patient is unconscious
- a state of affairs (e.g. stroke) rendering the patient incapable of giving consent.


Name the three types of trespass to the person:



False Imprisonment