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Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

17. How Tort Works  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter discusses the role played by the law of tort in the compensation and prevention of personal injuries. It first examines the way that tort operates in practice: when are claims for compensation actually made; how are claims brought and how are they resolved; how much does it cost to bring a claim; is the compensation paid adequate; and who pays for it? The chapter then turns to evaluation, and focuses upon the ‘fault principle’ that is enshrined in the law of tort—the principle that compensation should only be paid to a person injured by another’s fault. It considers how the law might depart from the fault principle by the development of strict liability or no-fault compensation, concluding with an examination of radical reform options involving the abolition of tort as a means of compensating for personal injuries.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

18. How Tort Works  

This chapter discusses the role played by the law of tort in the compensation and prevention of personal injuries. It first examines the way that tort operates in practice: when are claims for compensation actually made; how are claims brought and how are they resolved; how much does it cost to bring a claim; is the compensation paid adequate; and who pays for it? The chapter then turns to evaluation, and focuses upon the ‘fault principle’ that is enshrined in the law of tort — the principle that compensation should only be paid to a person injured by another's fault. It considers how the law might depart from the fault principle by the development of strict liability or no-fault compensation, concluding with an examination of radical reform options involving the abolition of tort as a means of compensating for personal injuries.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

4. Strict liability  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the crime of strict liability. A strict liability offence is one which does not require mens rea in respect of at least one element of the actus reus. Strict liability is often referred to as no-fault liability. Strict liability is very rare at common law. Where a statute is silent as to mens rea, the judge must interpret the provision to decide if the offence has mens rea (the starting point) or is one of strict liability. There is a debate about whether the imposition of criminal liability in the absence of proof of fault can be justified.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

4. Crimes of negligence  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

Negligence refers to conduct that does not conform to what would be expected of a reasonable person. Along with intention and recklessness, negligence involves a failure to comply with an objective standard of conduct; that is, all of them are forms of fault. To prove negligence, the prosecution is not required to show that the accused failed to foresee a relevant risk; it only has to establish that his conduct failed to comply with a reasonable standard. A person is negligent if he is not able to comply with an objective standard of behaviour set by the law. This chapter deals with crimes of negligence and negligence as mens rea, negligence as the basis of liability, degrees of negligence, negligence as a form of culpable fault, and negligence and capacity.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

3. The Standard of Care in 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 introduces the reader to the fault principle or negligence standard, along with its positive and negative implications. This chapter first asks. ‘What is negligence?’. It covers the standard of care and, within this, it looks at the objective standard. The chapter goes on to explore the way in which professional skill and care are assessed in the medical context. It also considers reasonable risk-taking and the absence of evidence of fault.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

3. The elements of a crime: mens rea  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter examines the mens rea or mental fault of the accused. Because an actus reus is treated in law as a bad thing, an intention to cause it is, in law, a bad intention, a guilty mind. Similarly, consciously taking an unjustified risk of causing an actus reus—that is, recklessness—is also a bad state of mind. Unintentionally causing an actus reus by negligence may also be regarded as legally blameworthy. Each of these implies different degrees of ‘fault’. The chapter also discusses subjective and objective fault, intention in crimes other than murder, the distinction between motive and intention, subjective recklessness and malice, wilful blindness, suspicion and reasonable grounds to suspect, the correspondence principle and constructive crime, coincidence in time of actus reus and mens rea, ignorance of the law, absence of a ‘claim of right’ as an element in mens rea and proof of intention and foresight.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

2. Agreement: Objective or Subjective?  

This chapter discusses the approach adopted by the courts when seeking to ascertain the intention of the parties to a contract. The general rule is that the existence and content of an agreement are questions that must be answered by reference to the intention of the parties, objectively ascertained. Two leading cases are presented that consider the scope of the objective test, namely Smith v. Hughes (1871) LR 6 QB 597 and Centrovincial Estates plc v. Merchant Investors Assurance Company Ltd [1983] Com LR 158. The discussion then turns to the case where one party attempts to ‘snap up’ an offer which he knew that the offeror did not intend, and the case where one party was at fault in failing to notice that the other party’s offer contained a mistake, or he was himself responsible for inducing that mistake in the other party. The chapter concludes that it is not necessary to resort to a subjective approach in order to explain these cases; they can be analysed in terms consistent with the objective test which is generally applied by the courts.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

12. Rylands v Fletcher and Strict Liability  

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 analyses the rule in Rylands v Fletcher on liability for damage done by the escape of dangerous things accumulated on one’s land, regardless of fault. It considers the problem in overlap between negligence and strict liability, and how the tort of negligence can impose liability in situations far removed from cases of individual fault, including the situations covered by Rylands v Fletcher. After providing an overview of the case of Rylands v Fletcher and the origins and elements of the rule, the chapter looks at the rule and its categorization and boundaries today, paying particular attention to two major English cases that treat Rylands as an aspect of nuisance: Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc and Transco v Stockport MBC. Finally, it examines the Australian High Court’s decision in Burnie Port Authority v General Jones Pty Ltd

Book

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law
Principles of Criminal Law takes a distinctly different approach to the study of criminal law, while still covering all of the vital topics found on criminal law courses. Uniquely theoretical, it seeks to elucidate the underlying principles and foundations of the criminal law, and aims to engage readers by analysing the law contextually. This tenth edition looks at issues such as the law’s history and criminal law values, alongside criminal conduct, actus reus, causation, and permissions; criminal capacity, mens rea, and fault, excusatory defences; homicide; non-fatal violations; property crimes; financial crimes; complicity; and inchoate offences. A special aim of the book is to bring an understanding of business activity—in particular small business activity—closer to the centre of the stage, in a discussion of the values protected by the criminal law and of the way in which the law shapes its principles, rules, and standards. A large proportion of criminal offences are drafted with the conduct of businesses, as well as individuals, in mind.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

12. Complicity  

This chapter examines the issue of complicity. ‘Complicity’ arises when two or more people agree to commit an offence which is then committed by one or more of them, or when a person plays a supporting role in the commission of an offence. The discussions cover the distinction between principals (those who commit the crime itself) and accessories (those who assist or encourage its commission). The discussion involves addressing complex questions about the conduct element in complicity, the fault element in complicity, joint ventures, and accessorial liability for different results. Also covered are derivative liability, the ‘missing link’, and special defences to complicity. Finally, some elements of complicity bearing on offences of public order are discussed, to show their relevance to civil liberties.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

6. Criminal Capacity, Mens Rea, and Fault  

This chapter deals first with another fundamental requirement of a crime: criminal capacity. It is a precondition of criminal liability that the defendant is a person with sufficient capacity to be held responsible. This leads to an examination of infancy and insanity as barriers to criminal responsibility, and then to a consideration of special factors affecting corporate criminal liability. Second, this chapter considers fault requirements as an element of criminal offences. It explores some of the reasons for and against the criminal law requiring proof of fault in any form. It also considers principal varieties of fault requirement in the criminal law, such as intention and recklessness.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

3. Seeking a Divorce  

Edwina Higgins and Kathryn Newton

This chapter considers the law and process for seeking a divorce in England and Wales, which is due to change radically in April 2022. It examines the current legal framework (as of September 2021) and the gap between the ‘law in books’ and the practical reality, highlighted in the key Supreme Court case Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41. It contrasts the conduct-based provisions of the current law with the ‘no fault’ provisions due to be introduced in 2022. It discusses the criticisms that have been made of the conduct-based law, and why there was pressure for reform. The discussion is placed in the context of divorce statistics in order to determine the link between the divorce law and the divorce rate, and whether this matters. In so doing, the chapter considers how much of a role the state should play in regulating divorce and the place of ‘fault’ in a modern divorce law. It also considers matters of process and procedure.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

12. International State Responsibility for Wrongful Acts  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

The chapter begins by discussing the history of the codification of the law of State responsibility. It then considers the current regulation of State responsibility, by distinguishing the ‘ordinary’ legal regime and the ‘aggravated’ State responsibility, and goes on to explore the main differences between the two regimes. It focuses on the elements of the internationally wrongful act, particularly on the attribution of conduct to a State and the relevance of fault and damage. In addition, it examines the circumstances which preclude wrongfulness and the consequences of the internationally wrongful act (with particular reference to the obligation to provide reparation).

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

1. General Introduction  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter serves as an introduction to the law of tort. It first discusses the historical development of tort law, covering its early origins; the forms of action including the writ of trespass and the action on the case; the development of fault-based liability; the recognition of a distinct liability for negligence in the eighteenth century and the move away from the erstwhile distinction between direct and indirect injury; early attempts at the classification of the law of obligations; and the modern pre-eminence of negligence. The focus then turns to theories of tort, covering the aims of the law of tort and modern doctrinal classifications. Finally, the chapter considers modern influences on tort law, covering the impacts of insurance and human rights; and concerns about ‘compensation culture’.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

1. General Introduction  

This chapter first discusses the historical development of tort law, covering the origins of tort law; the forms of action; the development of fault-based liability; eighteenth-century developments; the classification of obligations; and the modern pre-eminence of negligence. It then turns to theories of tort, covering the aims of the law of tort and doctrinal classifications. Finally, the chapter considers modern influences on tort law, covering the influence of insurance; the influence of human rights; and concerns about ‘compensation culture’.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

1. Tort: law and system  

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. In civil law, tort provides remedy for a party who has suffered the breach of a protected interest. Tort law protects a wide range of interests. Currently, negligence is the greatest source of litigation with respect to tort. Torts of trespass to the person protect physical safety while trespass to property governs the ownership of property. The tort of defamation provides remedies for threats to one’s reputation. Another tort-related area deals with the protection of privacy from media intrusion. This chapter discusses the range of activity to which tort law applies and the types of harm for which it provides compensation. It also considers the main interests protected by the law of tort, how the law of tort differs from other branches of the law, and the role of policy and the human rights dimension in the law of tort.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

12. Nuisance  

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. Nuisance protects against ‘indirect’ interference with the claimant’s use and enjoyment of land. There are two categories of nuisance: public nuisance and private nuisance. Private nuisance refers to an unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of land. In order to sue in private nuisance, the claimant must have an interest in the land affected. This chapter examines the elements of liability in private and public nuisance and discusses the differences between them.. It also looks at the relationship between nuisance and fault-based liability and evaluates the human rights dimension to the law of nuisance.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Directions

9. Vicarious liability  

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. In general, liability is based on the personal fault of the wrongdoer himself. A person is liable only for his own acts, and a defendant will usually be free of any liability unless he has negligently or intentionally caused the harm or damage to the claimant. However, a person who has no fault or personal blame may also be held liable for the damage caused by the tort of another. This is known as vicarious liability, which is most common in the workplace and imposes liability without the need to prove that the defendant is at fault.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

3. Mens rea  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter reviews the mens rea elements of criminal offence. Mens rea means guilty mind, but the term is better thought of as the fault element of the offence. The role of mens rea is to attribute fault or blameworthiness (also called culpability) to the actus reus. The main types of mens rea are intention, recklessness, and negligence. Issues may arise when the mens rea and actus reus do not coincide in time. The doctrine of transferred malice allows mens rea to be transferred from the intended victim to the unintended victim, in certain situations.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

12. Discharge by frustration: subsequent impossibility  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. Without the fault of either party, a contract may be automatically discharged due to frustration that renders further performance of the contract impossible, illegal, or radically different from what was originally conceived. In this case, the parties will be excused further performance of their contractual obligations. However, the frustration doctrine applies only where there is no express provision in the contract (a force majeure clause) allocating the risk. This chapter, which examines the frustration doctrine and discharge for subsequent impossibility, first considers the contractual risk allocation before turning to the theoretical basis for the doctrine of frustration. It then discusses limitations on the operation of the frustration doctrine before examining the effects of frustration and the effects on the parties’ positions of the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.