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Nominate Torts Trespass To The Person Notes

BCL Law Notes > Tort Law: Nominate Torts Notes

This is an extract of our Nominate Torts Trespass To The Person document, which we sell as part of our Tort Law: Nominate Torts Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.

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Broad general principles.

• Most common > assault, battery and false imprisonment

• All forcible and direct and immediate injury to a person > same as land and goods.

• Trespass actionable per se > presumed to be injured. Don't have to prove it

• Can arise through Ds negligence > negligence as a form of conduct and as a state of mind would be sufficient to satisfy the court of trespass to le person

• However, inadvertent injury not succeed, even if direct

• You must show D acted voluntarily

Fowley v Lanning
Letang v Cooper.
P sunbathing on stretch of grass close to car park of a hotel and the D drove his car over her legs. The injury was inadvertent but was direct. The court:
abolished diff between case and trespass and adopted the test
- Intentional - trespass
- Unintentional - negligence.

Wilson v pringle
Must show D did something that P would object to as an unlawful interference with P's life.
- Action based on deliberate contact as opposed to negligent


• An act which is INTENTIONALLY OR NEGLIGENTLY - causes P to immediately apprehend a contact with his person.

• Assault is basically battery without physical contact

• Assault doesn't involve contact, its about fear of contact

• Contact through the senses

• Where you have a battery, you also have an assault • You don't merely apprehend or fear that you'll be 'battered', but you'll be physically struck

• The threat you're apprehending, must be capable of being carried out.

• Doesn't matter what the P believes, its factually. > for example, if there's a gun pointed to someone that wasn't loaded, it wouldn't be assault but if it was loaded, it would.

• D must be able to carry out the actual execution of the threat.

• In other words, if the threat is carried out, the injury will occur.

• Bullet must be in it and D must be able to pull the trigger
Thomas v N.U.M
In crossing a picket line, a number of minors issued threats, The non-striking minors sued union for conduct and lost. The non-striking minors had police accompaniment.

Dullaghan v Hillen
Initially, D was verbally abused by P. D retaliated and struck the P and broke his nose. Here, the court held that
- P's words in insulting D didn't amount to an assault.
An exception to words not being assault:
- In an intimidator fashion

R v Ireland
Lord Steen said a silent telephone call may be assault.
- Silence suggested could be an assault


• Direct, intentional and physical contact w/ person

• You MUST PROVE THERE WAS NO CONSENT. < can't be implied - must be actually proven.

• But, actionable per se, don't have to prove harm or injury

• Protects against all permitted contacts irrespective of actual harm or injury
Humphries v Connor

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