LL5003 - Law of Tort (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Law of Tort|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module focuses on developing skills of analysis, communication and reasoning. It introduces students to the law of torts through a detailed study of negligence and the social context in which this tort operates. This is followed by a study of other forms of tortious liability. Students will learn to apply their understanding to problem solving, as well as to communicate in a concise, accurate and effective manner.
This module, providing in-depth study of a range of torts, aims to:
• provide a critical and evaluative understanding of the scope of torts law;
• provide a substantial body of knowledge of the law of torts, other than negligence;
• enhance skills of legal reasoning;
• provide practise for the application of legal knowledge and understanding to problem-solving;
• enhance students' ability to communicate orally in a concise, accurate and lucid manner; and
• require students to undertake self-directed research on one designated topic and present their findings succinctly in oral argument.
• Introductory: overview of the law of torts; strict and fault-based liability; introduction to negligence and its societal functions; overview of the development of negligence and the principal areas of difficulty encountered by the courts.
• Alternative Compensation Regimes: economic and moral implications of the UK’s negligence regime; consideration of alternative means of compensating accident victims.
• Duty of Care: outline of basic principles and policy concerns; omissions and liability for actions of third parties; liability for psychiatric harm; rescuers; liability for economic loss caused by negligent activities and negligent statements; negation and reduction of duty on grounds of public policy.
• Breach of Duty: factors generally relevant in determining the standard of care; children; defendants acting in emergencies; participants in sport; medical and other professionals.
• Causation and Remoteness: basic principles; cumulative causes; consecutive causes; causation and the standard of proof; lost chances; remoteness of damage in relation to property damage and personal injury.
• Occupiers’ Liability: consideration of relevant legislation and case law.
• Defences to negligence claims: voluntary assumption of risk; contributory negligence; not profiting from wrongdoing.
• Protection of the person from intentional interference: Physical and threatened harm to the person protected by the torts of assault and battery.
• Protection of the person from intentional interference: Wrongful deprivation of liberty protected by the tort of false imprisonment.
• Protection of property interests: The tort of trespass to land.
• Protection of property interests: The tort of private nuisance and an overview of public nuisance and the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.
• Protection of trading interests: inducing breach of contract, interference by unlawful means, conspiracy, passing off and the protection of goodwill.
• Protection of reputation: defamation.
• Protection of privacy.
• Liability for the activities of others: vicarious liability.
• Remedies: injunctions, financial remedies and restitution.
Learning and teaching
The module is taught by lectures and seminars. Students are required to prepare by reading from case law and legal journals, and are given the opportunity to discuss theoretical issues as well as to solve practical legal problems. Students are supported in undertaking on-line research using electronic law databases and encouraged to use Westlaw. There is a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing a handbook, weblinks, past assessments, study skills guidance, lecture aids and notes. This provides the basis for students to achieve a high level of competence in engaging with materials delivered electronically.
Two formative assessments are set and marked promptly with opportunities for feedback both in class and individually.
Knowledge of the topics covered will enhance students’ employability both within the legal profession and more generally in a range of professions (e.g. Human Resources, the caring professions) which require an understanding of employers’ liability, and/or interpersonal rights and responsibilities under the civil law.
Students’ study responsibilities are to attend all classes, research and prepare for seminar discussion and academic debate, engage in interactive IT-related activities and to undertake all formative and final assessments.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. understand the range and limits of various torts ;
2. identify, select and manage a range of judicial and legislative approaches to the law of torts ;
3. demonstrate ability to read and understand case law and to interpret statutes ;
4. analyse legal problems in the law of torts ;
5. demonstrate research skills and ability to apply legal knowledge to problem scenarios in a clear and effective manner; and
6. demonstrate a critical appreciation of how judicial reasoning in torts' cases seeks to reconcile competing values and express an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of opposing arguments.
The module learning outcomes will be assessed formally by:
• one oral presentation which will require students to undertake self-directed research on one designated topic and present their findings succinctly in oral argument.
• a final written coursework
In addition, there will be informal formative in-class tests, which will test all module learning outcomes. These will not be formally assessed (in the sense that a student’s performance in these tests will not count towards their final grade for the module).
NB Students must use the most recent edition of the books cited.
Giliker, P, and S Beckwith, Tort, (Sweet and Maxwell)
Jones, M, Textbook on Torts, (Blackstone Press)
Lunney, M, and K Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials, (Oxford University Press)
Rogers, W.V.H., Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort (Sweet and Maxwell)
Rose, F, (ed.), Blackstone's Statutes on Contract, Tort and Restitution (Blackstone Press)
Westlaw and other law databases