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Cover Tort Law

7. Defences to Negligence  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter explores three defences to negligence which are also defences to other torts: volenti non fit injuria or willing assumption of risk, the illegality defence (also known as ex turpi causa), and contributory negligence. In relation to contributory negligence, the chapter considers responsibility, which involves questions both of causal influence and of fault, before turning to a discussion of apportionment of responsibility between the parties, and proportionality. In relation to illegality, recent decisions of the Supreme Court are examined. Relevant provisions of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 are extracted, together with further extracts from significant cases.


Cover Tort Law Directions

6. Defences to negligence  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. The claimant has the burden of establishing liability for the tort while the defendant has the burden of establishing the defence. If the claimant establishes a successful cause of action in tort, the defendant must plead one (or more) of the defences available to him. If the defendant establishes a successful defence, either his liability for the damage may be reduced or he may be totally absolved from liability. This chapter examines general defences applicable to all torts but which have particular relevance to claims in negligence, focusing on contributory negligence, volenti non fit injuria, and ex turpi causa non oritur actio.