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GDL Law Notes GDL Tort Law Notes

Land Torts Notes

Updated Land Torts Notes

GDL Tort Law Notes

GDL Tort Law

Approximately 591 pages

A collection of the best GDL notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through applications from top students and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor". In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of GDL notes available in the UK this year. This collection of GDL notes is fully updated for recent exams, also making them the most up-to-date GDL study materials ...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Land Torts


Private Nuisance

  • Read v Lyons per Scott LJ: ‘ unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of his land, or some right over, or in connection with, that land’

Private nuisance involves:

  1. An unlawful interference (what is unlawful will be determined by whether or not D’s use of his land is reasonable)

  2. With a person’s use or enjoyment of his land

Three types of use of land:

Hunter v Canary Wharf per Lord Lloyd

  1. Nuisance by encroachment on a neighbour’s land

  2. Nuisance by direct physical injury to a neighbour’s land

  3. Nuisance by interference with a neighbour’s quiet enjoyment of his land

An action will only be considered an unlawful interference if it is an unreasonable use of land.

Reasonable Use of Land

Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc

Tannery owner inadvertently contaminated a borehole owned by C

Held: the damage was too remote (Wagon Mound No. 1) – emphasised that it is a principle of give & take between neighbours - a balancing exercise (per Lord Wright)

Factors determining reasonable use:

  • Locality of the alleged nuisance (the character of the land)

Sturges v Bridgman

Noisy pestle & mortar of a sweet shot operated for 20 years. C built nextdoor and was bothered by the noise.

Held: ‘coming to the nuisance’ is no defence. However the locality of an action must be considered in tandem with the alleged nuisance itself – ‘what would be a nuisance in Belgrave Square might not be a nuisance in Bermondsey’

St Helens Smelting Co

Held: the location of the alleged nuisance is not relevant in relation to physical damage to someone’s property

Coventry v Lawrence

An issue regarding planning permission & whether planning permission could change the locality of the area. D had PP to motor race in a nearby stadium, and C lived nearby.

Held: (SC) planning permission argument was invalid because PP was not a key factor in working out whether something is a nuisance or not. Just because D has PP to do the activity, doesn’t mean they can’t be sued in nuisance. It is the court’s jurisdiction to judge whether use is reasonable or not

  • Particular sensitivity of the claimant is NOT taken into account

Robinson v Kilvert

C stored brown paper which was particularly sensitive to heat & it was damaged

Held: the damage was only caused by the exceptionally delicate nature of C’s trade, and an ordinary person using the land would not have been interfered with

  • Duration of the interference

British Celanese Ltd v Hunt

1 off incident when wind brought some metal onto C’s land

Held: an isolated happening by itself could be a nuisance

Crown River Cruises

Fireworks display caused C’s boats to set fire

Held: here there was a nuisance because, though it was of short duration, the unlawful interference deprived C of his enjoyment of his property

  • Public benefit – only goes to REMEDY, it cannot affect liability

  • Bamford v Turnley per Baron Bramwell: the gain of public benefit is such to cover compensation to the minority who suffer - “live and let live”

Miller v Jackson (see ‘General Negligence’ doc)

Held: (majority) public benefit may only go to the remedy and not the existence of breach in the first place

Dennis v MOD

RAF base practised low-level flying near C’s house. MOD argued public benefit

Held: this must only go the remedy – here no injunction was awarded but rather damages

Art 8 claims will be alongside tort claims: interference may be justified by what is necessary & proportionate in a democratic society, however:

Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Parliament took away C’s right to sue for flooding caused by Thames Water because it decided it was necessary to create a special scheme regarding water utilities

Held: this did not conflict with HRA, but they failed to explain how it was consistent

  • Malice: where D is maliciously creating an interference it is less likely it will be reasonable

Christie v Davey

Crazy music teacher whistling and shrieking under the guise of music teaching

Held: this was a deliberate and malicious interference and therefore unreasonable

Hollywood Silver Fox Farm

D, a property develop, took a disliking to C and got someone to go around the edge of his land shooting a gun with hopes of disturbing breeding

Held: this was a malicious and deliberate interference and therefore unreasonable

Is fault required on the part of the tortfeasor?

  • Lunney & Oliphant: depends on the remedy sought

    • Injunction:

      • D will already be aware and ostensibly going to carry on with his tortious activity by the time this gets to court, so fault isn’t really at issue.

      • However, the test of the reasonable user doesn’t square up to moral fault – the objective test can render faultless behaviour unreasonable and faulty behaviour reasonable

    • Damages:

      • D can be quite unaware

  • Wagon Mound 2: the same actions may give rise to a claim in nuisance & negligence, but negligence is not always a component of nuisance. HOWEVER “fault of some kind is almost alwaysnecessary and fault generally involves foreseeability”

  • Cambridge Water per Lord Goff:

    • Unreasonable interference may still be caused by a user taking all reasonable care to prevent damage

    • HOWEVER “it by no means follows that the defendant should be held liable for damage of a type which he could not reasonable foresee”

    • In this regard the requirement of foreseeability should be borrowed from negligence

Nuisance created by third parties

Sedleigh-Denfield v O’Callaghan

Trespasser laid a drain. D then came to use the drain and misplaced a grate so that it overflowed, flooding C’s land

Held: (HL) D were liable - they had adopted the drain from the trespasser. An occupier of land is liable for the continuance of a nuisance created by others if he continues or adopts it.

  • Lord Atkin: an occupier is not an insurer of another’s land - “there must be something more than the mere harm done…to make the party responsible”:

    • ...

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