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Law Notes Aspects Of Obligations Notes

Property Torts & Bailment Notes

Updated Property Torts & Bailment Notes

Aspects Of Obligations Notes

Aspects Of Obligations

Approximately 333 pages

Aspects Of Obligations notes fully updated for recent exams in the UK. These notes cover all the major LLB aspects cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

These notes were formed directly from a reading of the cases and main texts and are vigorous, concise and very well written. Everything is conveniently split up by topic as you can see by th...

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Definition: TRM Copy Centres v Lanwall Services UKHL 09 Lord Hope: ‘bailment embraces all situations in which possession of goods is given by one person to another upon the condition that they shall be restored to the person by whom possession has been given, or deal with as he directs, upon expiry of the agreed period of possession’

May be ‘at will’ (bailor has right to unilaterally terminate bailment) or fixed/determinable period

Bridge: if pursuant to contract then contractual incidents, if no contract, rights in tort

note: can have sub-bailment (may be a direct r/s between head bailor & sub-bailee)

bailor = giver of possession, bailee = receiver

bailor had possession/right to possession

Not the same as ownership…

Need factual possession (physical control) + intention to possess (or a right to it)

Armory v Delamirie 1712 chimney sweep found jewel (took possession) then left with jeweller - bailment r/s created

bailee put into possession

There is a fine line between assuming possession (bailment) & simply permission to leave something and land (a license)

Bailment = the transfer of possession & voluntary acceptance of CL duty of safe keeping

License = permission to leave & no responsibility - Odone v Hawarden Services

Ashby v Tolhurst C parked in D’s carpark, where a thief drove the car away, telling the attendant he had permission - C argued bailment & that D breached duties - held no - there was no transfer of possession!

It was said it would have been difference if the car was left for D to sell or had the keys been given

bailee voluntarily accepts possession of property belonging to another

It was previously thought that consent was needed from both parties but the current view is that the bailor’s state of mind is irrelevant - only need the bailee to voluntarily assume possession - The Pioneer Container

Voluntary assumption of possession

  • Lethbridge v Phillips C lent paining to X, who lent it to D’s son (wanting D to see it). Son put it on mantlepiece, was damaged. C argued D was bailee - no because was no voluntary assumption

  • Note also the suggestion here of direct r/s with the sub-bailee

    Knowledge that the property belongs to another

  • Marcq v Christie’s: ‘If you are to owe duties to someone else you should know or at least have some means of knowing of their existence’

  • Here T stole M’s painting. X was the bona fide purchaser, who took to Christie’s (auctioneers). It was unsold when M discovered it & surf for bailment & conversion - held no bailment as C had no idea it belonged to M - seems to lay down an objective test, but the result suggests a subjective one

  • Its outcome must be correct - surely cannot owe obligations to someone you don’t know

  • But an objective test would appear to make ownership a requirement of bailment

  • Although could explain it via a relativity of title theory i.e acknowledge that someone has a better possessory title than you

    goods must be capable of bailment:

    Must be tangible property

    Must be able to return the exact same item - if object is money, only bailment if you can return the exact same note/coin

    Must be capable of ownership

    Taylor v Chester: half a 50 note - yes

    Dobson v North Tyneside HA: body parts which are preserved - yes (normally not body parts)

    Yearworth v North Bristol NHS Trust: doubted Dobson & considered theoretical discussion of ownership - gives owner control etc - statute meant Cs retained sufficient control over sperm to be owners of it

    Hoath v Connect Internet Services 06 Aus case - internet domain name -no - intangible!

    Rights & duties

  1. Bailee/bailor and third parties - e.g when T interferes with the property

  1. Bailee v T: e.g when T interferes with the property

  • The Winkfield 1902 Collins MR ‘as between bailee & stranger, possession gives title - that is not a limited interest, but absolute and complete ownership’

  • Thus bailee standing to sue in tort - here mail lost at sea due to T’s negligence

  • note Tort (Intereference with Goods) Act 1977 s.8 T can argue that there is someone with better title tan Bailee - Bailor joined in proceedings - T will have to pay out but court will distribute it fairly between Bailee & Bailor - not much of a defence!

  1. Bailor v T: can also sue T under certain conditions

  • Where bailor has immediate right to possession - can sue in full using property torts

  • e.g O’Sullivan v Williams bf left car parked with gf, car damaged negligently by T, bf succeeded in claiming neg - had immediate right to possession

  • Where bailor does not have immediate right to possession - if permanent loss/destruction bailor can sue, but not if only temporary damage - HSBC Rail v Network Rail

  • Here bailor has a reversionary interest - only claim if that interest permanently injured

  1. Duty to account: where bailee sues, must account to bailor

  • The Winkfield would seem odd if Bailee (not absolute owner) could recover the full value of the chattel

  • O’Sullivan v Williams suggests sometimes bailor will be under duty to account to bailee - CL ruled reinforced by s.3 T(IG)A 1977

  1. Bailor & bailee’s claims are mutually exclusive: if one succeeds, the other barred

  • Avoids double liability - O’Sullivan v Williams

  • reinforced by s.7(4) and 7(2) T(IG)A 1977

  1. Bailor & bailee

  • If there is a contract, parties can sue under that & if exceed the terms of the bailment, can sue in property torts

  • but these seem to be separate obligations… can sue for breach of bailment obligations

  1. Obligations of a bailee - per Mance LJ in East West Corp v DKBS

  • 3 basic duties (i) not to commit conversion ii) abide by any contractual term (iii) take reasonable care of the property & return it at end of bailment term

  • Mance suggested (iii) was only one, created & explicable by separate bailemtn source of obligations

  1. Bailee’s duty of care

  • Southcote’s Case 1601 obligation on Bailee = absolute - property stolen but still liable

  • Coggs v Bernard 1703 softened the strict rule - the more...

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