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Public Nuisances Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Tort Law Notes

This is an extract of our Public Nuisances document, which we sell as part of our GDL Tort Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble 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:

Revision: Tort

[PUBLIC NUISANCE]
Public nuisances: 'acts or omissions of the defendant that materially affect the reasonable comfort and convenience of life of a class of Her Majesty's subjects' (Attorney General v PYA Quarries)

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More specific definition difficult - Denning: public nuisance ' covers a multitude of sins, great and small' (Southport Corporation v Esso Petroleum)

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Public nuisance is a crime but can also sometimes be a tort

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Most areas now regulated by statute - e.g. s79 Environmental Protection Act 1990 o

Obstruction of Her Majesty's Highway (most common)- now regulated by highways legislation

'Materially affects comfort and convenience'

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Interference must be 'material' - more than just slight/trivial

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No need for actual damage - annoyance/irritation can be sufficient

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Claimants must show that they have suffered special damage

'Class of Her Majesty's subjects'

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Necessary to show that the effect of the nuisance is 'sufficiently widespread': no exact number of people that need to be affected

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Depends on the facts of the case: Attorney General v Hastings Corporation - R v Rimmington

Omissions

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Liability can exist for omissions as well as acts - so could be preferable to sue for this rather than negligence

One-off event

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CAN be a one-off or isolated event (unlike private)

Need not involve interference with the enjoyment of the land: unlike private nuisance the claimant doesn't need to have an interest in land Examples:

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Attorney General of Ontario v Orange - A pop festival 1

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