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Tort Law

Tort Law (8th edn)

Kirsty Horsey and Erika Rackley
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date: 16 June 2024

p. 42715. Intentional interferences with the personlocked

p. 42715. Intentional interferences with the personlocked

  • Kirsty Horsey
  •  and Erika Rackley


This chapter examines intentional interferences with the person, including the torts comprising trespass to the person—battery, assault and false imprisonment—the tort in Wilkinson v Downton [1897] and the statutory tort of harassment. The trespass to the person torts seek to protect an individual against an infringement of their personal or bodily integrity, that is, against the infliction, or fearing the infliction, of unlawful force (battery and assault) and the unlawful restriction of a person’s freedom of movement (false imprisonment). The three trespass to the person torts have the same characteristics: the defendant must have intended both the conduct itself and consequences of their action; the defendant’s action must cause direct and immediate harm; and they are actionable per se, that is, without proof of loss. The chapter also considers the tort in Wilkinson v Downton, which provides a remedy for physical and psychiatric harm deliberately caused by a false statement, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which imposes both civil and criminal liability for harassing conduct.

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