Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
GF10110 or LA10110 or or GF30110 or LA30110 or LA15710
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 40 Hours Total
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours = 4 x 1 hour seminars per semester.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Exam  This exam is Open Book. Candidates may bring any materials, other than library books, into the examination.  100%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Exam  This exam is Open Book. Candidates may bring any materials, other than library books, into the examination.  100%

Learning Outcomes

Tort is a perfect vehicle for the acquisition of analytical skills which are an essential part of training for all lawyers. The module will impart the skills of research and logical analysis, the ability to apply legal information in solving individual problems, the appreciation of policy issues, the ability to use language accurately and effectively, and the ability to analyse complex situations.

Brief description

The Law of Tort addresses a vast range of human experience. In studying the subject students will gain an insight not only into an essential branch of the law but also into how the law affects much of social and economic activity, for this is not a dry and abstract subject but rather one which vitally influences everyday life both in the domestic and business spheres. Accordingly, there is a lively interaction between legal principles and social and economic policy. The Law of Tort is a compulsory subject for LLB students and is a core subject for the purposes of exemption from Part I of the Law Society examinations.

General Description
We begin with a study of the Law of Trespass and then proceed to Negligence in all its aspects. Students will discover not only how social and economic policy have vitally affected the question of liability for fault and the potential range of that liability, but also the analytical structure of the tort of Negligence. This is a vibrant area of the law which has been much developed in recent years and which is still subject to considerable controversy. The course also deals with other torts, particularly those dealing with the duties of a property owner, including nuisance. As a whole the course deals with how the law sets standards of both personal and commercial behaviour for the avoidance of damage and is essential not only in its own right but also in relation to many other areas of the law.


Apart from providing students with a thorough grounding in the law of tort, the course provides an essential understanding of how the common law operates. In particular it is a perfect vehicle for the acquisition of analytical skills which are an essential part of the training of all lawyers. It provides training in the analysis of complex problems and the ability to think logically, as well as understanding the wider effects of the law and how choices are made for or against liability. As it is very much a case law subject, students will acquire a high level of skill in researching cases both using hard copy versions and by searching various databases. Students will also acquire expertise in case analysis, not only in discerning the legal rules established by the cases, but also in understanding how precedent is developed and how general principles are created.


Tort is taught by means of lectures and seminars. The lectures will provide an insight into the structure of the law and how cases can be analysed to produce the principles behind the subject. As tort is very much a case law subject the lecturers will not provide a definitive statement of the rules of law but rather the students will be guided into making their own assessment of the meaning of the cases. Reading of the recommended cases is essential and seminars will provide a forum for discussion of the proper understanding and application of the case law where students will gain experience in the clear exposition of complex ideas.


1. General Principles

2. Social and Economic Context of Tort

3. Trespass to the Person
a. Battery and assault
b. The intentional infliction of emotional distress
c. False imprisonment
d. Defences to trespass to the person

4. Trespass to Land

5. Intentional Interference with Chattels
a. Trespass to goods
b. Conversion

6. Trespass and Negligence

7. Duty of Care
The meaning of duty

8. Standard of Care
a. The reasonable man
b. The skill of the defendant
c. Other factors
d. Exceptions to true objectivity

9. Proof of Negligence

10. Causation and Remoteness of Damage
a. Causation
b. Remoteness of damage

11. Omissions

12. Liability of Public Bodies

13. Nervous Shock

14. Negligent Misstatement

15. Economic Loss - Negligent interference with prospective advantage

16. Products Liability
a. Contract
b. Negligence
c. Consumer Protection Act 1987

17. Unborn Children

18. Contributory Negligence

19. Consent
a. The effect of notice
b. Consent - volenti non fit injuria

20. Vicarious Liability
a. The legal theory
b. The nature of 'employment'
c. The course of employment
d. Independent contractors/the self employed

21. Breach of Statutory Duty

22. Occupier's Liability
a. Liability to visitors
b. Liability to trespassers and other non-visitors

23. Nuisance
a. Public nuisance
b. Private nuisance

24. Strict Liability: Rylands v Fletcher

25. Liability for Fires

26. Liability for Animals

27. Defamation

Reading List

Essential Reading
Kidner, Richard (2010) Casebook on Torts 11th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search
Recommended Text
Cooke, John (2009) Law of Tort 9th ed. Longman Primo search Street, Harry (2007) Street on Torts 12th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6