Fundamentals* * Constitutions

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Fundamentals* * Constitutions
Introduction to English Law of
Obligations–
Law of Torts (Part 1)
Dr Jan Halberda
([email protected])
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Law of Obligations
• Contracts
• Torts (Delicts)
• Unjust Enrichment
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Wrongful acts
Crimes
Criminal court, Penal law
guilty or not guily
Torts – Delicts – Civil wrongs
Civil court, Civil/Private law
liable or not liable
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Parties in tort
• Wrongdoer / Tortfeasor
• Victim
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Liability in tort – essential elements
Infringment of rights
Fault or blame on the part of defendant
Loss suffered by the plaintiff
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Liability in tort – essential elements
• As a rule: Fault or blame on the part of
defendant
• Exception: Strict liability torts –
- dangerous things escaping from land (Rylands
v. Fletcher - 1868);
- dangerous animals;
- some statutory duties
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Liability in tort – essential elements
• As a rule: Loss suffered by the plaintiff
• Exceptions: Torts actinable per se, ie: without
proof of loss –
• libel,
• trespass to land,
(-> lead only to nominal damages)
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Liability in tort – essential elements
• Damage to the property
• Injury to the person [pain and suffering; loss
of ability to pursue previous activities or
interest; loss of actual or prospective earnings;
medical expenses]
• Financial loss
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Remoteness of damage
• Link between wrongful act and resulting
injury.
• Chain of events.
• Reasonably foreseeable damage
Ruling: Wagon Mound Case (1961)
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Remoteness of damage
• Wagon Mound Case (1961)
• Welding:
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Remoteness of damage
• Novus actus interveniens
/hospital treatment of car accident victim/
• Defendant must take victims as he finds them
/Eggskull rule/
Ruling : R v Blaue (1975)
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Defences
• Statutory authority
/Noisy railway/
• Inevitable accident
/Electric cables damaged
during excavations/
• Act of God
/Bridges broken after lakes
burst due to rainfall/
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Defences
• Consent
/spectator injured while
watching motor race/
• Contributory negligence
/lady locked in toilet/
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Negligence
• Defendant owed plaintiff a legal duty of care.
• The duty was broken.
• Damage was suffered in consequence.
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Duty of care
• Neighbour rule
• [any person closely affected by your conduct,
and whom you should reasonably forsee might
be injured by you]
• Donoghue v.Stevenson (1932)
/snail in a bottle/
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Duty of care
• Hedley Byrne v. Heller and Partners (1963)
/careless bank reference
on client’s credit/
• Rondel v. Worsley (1969)
/public policy reasons;
lawyer not liable/
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)
Breach of duty
• Standard of care
• Reasonable prudent person
/Bolton v. Stone (1951)/
• Onus of proof
• Res ipsa loquitor
/planes usually do not crash/
Introduction to English Law of Obligations©
Jan Halberda(UJ)

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