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GDL Law Notes GDL Tort Law Notes

Trespass To The Person Notes

Updated Trespass To The Person 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:

  • Right of protection from deliberate physical harm, unlawful contact and from unjustified restriction of liberty (Assault, Battery and False Imprisonment) – All actionable per se


“Direct and intentional application of force by the defendant to the claimant without lawful justification’

  • Intentional:

  • Must prove either:

  1. Intention (to touch, not to hurt); or,

  2. Recklessness (foreseeing the likelihood of act causing the application of force)

  • More than mere negligence

  • Fowler v Lanning: no liability if unintentional (here the claimant was shot unintentionally so no liability)

  • Direct (direct foreseeability)

  • Reynolds v Clarke: act must cause an ‘immediate wrong’

  • Scott v Shepherd: there was sufficient directness where Scott through a lighted squib into a market place

  • DPP v K: schoolboy poured sulphuric acid into hand-drier, another student got it on his face – sufficiently direct

  • Fagan v Commissioner of Met Police: discussion of what constitutes an ‘act – defendant parked on a policeman’s foot, then refused to move – the mens rea occurred during the actus rea, thus his act couldn’t be regarded as a mere omission

  • Application of force

  • Any physical contact - no need for actual damage

  • Cole v Turner: “the least touching of another”

  • R v Cotesworth: spitting in a doctor’s face was a battery

  • Element of hostility?

  • Act must be unlawful but not necessarily hostile – what is more critical is the matter of consent:

    • Collins v Wilcock: Goff LJ discusses consent – battery must be touching not within category of contact ‘generally accepted in the ordinary conduct of daily life’

  • Defence of consent:

    • Medical treatment: Chatterton v Gerson (patient understood the ‘general nature’ of the operation)

    • Sport: Airedale NHS Trust v Bland

    • Outside sport and medicine, it is open to question whether the defence can be used

    • R v Brown: unusual case, in which it was held that one cannot consent to actual bodily harm


Act of the defendant which directly and intentionally causes the claimant to apprehend a battery or physical contact”


  1. Defendant (D) must intend/be reckless to Claimant (C)’s apprehension

  2. Apprehension must be reasonable (R v Beasley)

  • Words alone may suffice (R v Wilson); as can silence (R v Ireland); words may also negate (Tuberville v Savage)

  1. There must be a threat of immediate / direct force

  • Thomas v NUM: the D was in a protected car, so threat was not immediate

  • Stephens v Myers: D lunged at C in meeting – this was immediate

Decision is usually based on what a reasonable man would fear in the circumstances

Residuary Trespass: Wilkinson v Downton

  • Where the D deliberately acts to cause the C physical harm

  • Must prove damage: D told C as a joke that her husband had been injured, resulting in nervous shock

  • Khorasandijan v Bush: harassing phone calls (followed decision in Wilkinson)

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997: provided an alternative remedy

  • Wainwright v Home Office: criticises Wilkinson – should have to prove psychiatric harm leading to actual psychiatric illness – we now have law governing negligently caused psychiatric harm, so Wilkinson no longer has a ‘leading role’ (Lord Hoffmann)

  • But it still remains good law for intentionally causes psychiatric harm

  • C’s apprehension must be reasonable (R v Beasley)

    • Words alone may suffice (R v Wilson); as can silence (R v Ireland); words may also...

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