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12 Cards in this Set

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3 things you need for trespass

1. Direct Impact

2. Result of a voluntary act (intentional/negligent)

3. Actionable per se (You do not have to show damage)

Directness case

Scott v Shephard.

Defendant threw a firecracker into the centre of the market. Fireworks landed on one stall, Mr Willis. He saw the firecracker and tried to move it away. Landed on another stall who did the same thing. Eventually landed in the middle of the crowd and exploded, injuring the plaintiff. Plaintff took action for trespass. Judge said in order to show trespass you don’t have to show the defendant personally touched the plaintiff. Question is whether the 3rd parties by moving the fireworks acted in self defence, was it a novus actus interveniens

Held in favour of plaintiff. Natural and probably consequence of the action of the plaintiff that someone was going to be injured. Liable for whatever the consequences of his unlawful act were. Requirement of foreseeability.

Reflex actions and voluntariness.

Reflex action is not a voluntary act. If you’re acting legitimately in self defence it is also involuntary.


Plaintiff must prove defendant intended to bring about the result. Don’t have to have a certain outcome in mind, Shephard didn’t intend to injure the plaintiff, just somebody. If it was substantially certain someone was going to be injured, you are deemed to have intended it. Eg firing a gun into a crowd of individuals, hitting someone other than you intended. If the chances of your success are very unlikely it is still a trespass.


If you were negligent, no intention. But if harm was direct impact, then you’ll be liable and we’re back to straightforward negligence.

Trespass on a person- Assault

Assault is an act that places a person in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery being committed upon them. Dullaghan v Hillen. Words are generally not enough without accompanying action. They can also negatise action, Tuberville v Savage

Can silence constitute assault?

Yes, R v Ireland.

Defendant had been carrying out prank calls 3 different women. Each time he stayed silent on the phone, ungodly hours of the night. They were in fear for their safety, suffered psychological damage.

Trespass on a person- Battery

The direct application of physical contact upon another person without their consent(express or implied). Corcoran v W& R Jacob. Don’t need to hurt them.

Spitting is a battery. Semi indirect but still battery.

Plaintiff doesn’t have to be aware. Eg if they were asleep.

Implied consent for everyday events, contact sports, using the bus. Schoolchildren- Wilson v Pringle

Battery in medical procedures

F v West Berkshire Healthy Authority

36 y/o woman with learning disability, resident in psychiatric hospital voluntarily. Formed relationship with another resident, hospital staff concerned she didn’t understand implications, pregnancy etc.

Sought an order to allow them to get consent from her guardians to carry out sterilisation from her. Without which it would be battery.

Could they make this consent on her behalf? Decided it was permitted and in her best interests.

Trespass on a person-false imprisonment

Unlawful and total restraint of the person liberty of another, whether by constraining him or compelling him to go to a particular place or confining him in a police station/prison/private place/public place. Essential element is unlawful detention. Person does not have to be aware. Does not need walls. As long as the detention limits the party’s freedom of movement in all directions. Dullaghan v Hillen and King,

Certain requirements to escape false imprisonment

Burns v Johnston , employer extended working day by 30 minutes. On first day employees demanded to leave before this, but practice was to close the gates during working hours. Employer told them to get a pass and leave, which they did not do. Reasonable requirements which would have permitted them to leave.


Kane v Governor of Mountjoy Prison. Plaintiff being surveyed. Overt. Said they felt they were being falsely imprisoned. Court disagreed, they were simply being monitored and always free to go wherever they wanted.