Trespass to the person key cases

Flashcards by pavlina.hunt, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by pavlina.hunt over 5 years ago


Intentional torts key cases form the Concentrate book OUP

Resource summary

Question Answer
Austin v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis A group of demonstrators were detained in the street for seven hours by the police. They sued in false imprisonment and for breach of their art 5 rights. The police were entitled to use the defence of necessity in this extreme case, because a breach of the peace was anticipated, although there was no specific concern about the behaviour of the claimants.
Collins v Wilcock A police officer took hold of the plaintiff's arm in an attempt to stop her from walking away. This was held to constitute battery, as it was unwanted and went beyond normal social touching.
F v West Berkshire HA A declaration was sought by the health authority on the legality of the sterilization of a young woman who was mentally incompetent to consent. A declaration was given that the procedure would be legal as it was necessary in the best interests of the patient. Without such necessity, it would constitute battery.
Hague v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison The plaintiff claimed that he had been detained in solitary confinement contrary to the Prison Rules and sued in false imprisonment. The prisoner had no liberty capable of being taken away, therefore the tort of false imprisonment had not occurred.
Lane v Holloway Following an insult to the defendant's wife, the plaintiff struck the defendant who then retaliated with a severe blow causing serious injury. In the battery action, the defendant could not use self-defence as his response had been disproportionate to the threat.
Letang v Cooper The defendant ran over the plaintiff's legs, while she was sunbathing in a car park. For limitation reasons, she sued in the tort of battery. The claim was unsuccessful. Because the act had been unintentional, the only possible action was in negligence. There is no tort of negligent trespass.
Meering v Grahame-White Aviation The plaintiff was taken to his employer's office, under suspicion of theft. Unknown to him, police were outside the door to prevent him leaving. He brought an action for false imprisonment. The unlawful imprisonment had taken place, despite the fact that at the time he was not aware of it. The tort is actionable per se.
R v Governor of Brockhill Prison, ex p Evans A prison governor had failed to calculate correctly the length of term of a prisoner who was detained for two months beyond his proper release date. This constituted false imprisonment because it did not have lawful authority.
Robinson v Balmain Ferry Co Ltd The plaintiff had turned back from a ferry boarding station but was unable to pass through the turnstile without paying one penny. This was a reasonable condition; and therefore his detention had not been complete and the action for false imprisonment failed.
Stephens v Myers The defendant attempted to strike the plaintiff but was prevented by a third party. The tort of assault had been committed because the plaintiff had reasonably anticipated an immediate battery.
Thomas v National Union of Mineworkers The plaintiffs were in a bus passing a picket line and were threatened by the gestures from the picketers. The tort of assault had not taken place because there had not been a reasonable apprehension of immediate battery.
Wainwright v Home Office A mother and son were subjected to a strip search when they visited a prison, resulting in psychiatric injury. They sued the Home Office in the rule in Wilkinson v Downton, battery, and for breach of privacy. Only the battery action was (partially) successful. Wilkinson depended on an intention to cause harm, which was not established. Wainwright indicates the extremely limited scope of Wilkinson.
Wilkinson v Downton The plaintiff suffered nervous shock as a result of the defendant telling her, falsely, that her husband had been seriously injured in an accident. A tort occurs when the defendant wilfully acts in a way intending to cause harm to the claimant by indirect means, and this results in physical or psychiatric injury.
Williams v Humphrey The defendant child pushed another, the plaintiff into a swimming pool, resulting in serious injury. The battery action was successful. The act of pushing was intentional, but the injury was not required to be intended.
Wilson v Pringle While involved in horseplay, one boy grabbed another's satchel, causing him injury. The intentional application of force was sufficient to constitute battery, despite the fact that the injury was unintentional.
Show full summary Hide full summary


Trespass to the person
How Parliament Makes Laws
Contract Law
A-Level Law: Theft
AQA AS LAW, Unit 1, Section A, Parliamentary Law Making 1/3
A2 Law: Cases - Defence of Insanity
Jessica 'JessieB
Law Commission 1965
ria rachel
A2 Law: Special Study - Robbery
Jessica 'JessieB
The Criminal Courts
AS Law Jury Case Quiz
Fionnghuala Malone