Module Identifier LA36030  
Module Title TORT  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Richard A W Kidner  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Professor Ryszard W Piotrowicz  
Co-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110 or LA15710  
Course delivery Lecture   48 Hours three one hour lectures per week over both semesters  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours Seminar. five one hour seminars in each semester  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3hr Hours Candidates must answer four out of eight or nine questions, including at least two from section B which will consist of problem questions. 100%
Supplementary Assessment By Examination.   
Professional Exemptions Required for Professional Purposes  

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 is a dynamic subject which deals with 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. After dealing with defences and vicarious liability (the liability of an employer for torts committed by his employees), the course deals with further torts, particularly those dealing with the duties of a property owner, such as nuisance and liability for pollution. 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. There will also be an opportunity to write two essays during the year where a high level of clear expression and grammatical exposition will be required.


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
(a) The meaning of duty
(b) The unforseeable plaintiff

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. Reform
(a) The Pearson Commission
(b) The New Zealand system of no fault liability


12. Omissions

13. Liability of Public Bodies

14. Nervous Shock

15. Negligent Misstatement

16. Economic Loss - Negligent interference with prospective advantage

17. Duty of Care and Contract

18. Products Liability
(a) Contract
(b) Negligence
(c) Consumer Protection Act 1987

19. Unborn Children


20. Contributory Negligence

21. Consent
(a) The effect of notice
(b) Consent - volenti non fit injuria

22. Ex turpi causa/illegality


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


24. Breach of Statutory Duty

25. Occupiers Liability
(a) Liability to visitors
(b) Liability to trespassers and other non-visitors

26. Nuisance
(a) Public nuisance
(b) Private nuisance

27. Strict Liability: Rylands v Fletcher

28. Liability for Fires

29. Control of Special Forms of Pollution
(a) Nuclear escape
(b) Disposal of waste

30. Liability for Animals

31. Defamation

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Jones (2002) Textbook on Torts 8th.
Kidner (2002) Casebook on Torts 7th.
Street (1999) The Law of Torts 10th.


This module is at CQFW Level 6