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Law of Torts and Consumer Protection
                              (LLBH 1231)
                        nd
                       2 Lecture, Date: 31.05.2012
Definition of Tort:
Sir Salmond defines Tort as; “a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common law action
for unliquidated damages, and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach
of a trust or other merely equitable obligation”
Summary of Sir Salmond’s definition:
(a). a civil wrong ;
(b). a common law action;
(c). unliquidated damages;
(d). not exclusively the breach of a contract;
(e). not the breach of a trust
According to Winfield; “tortious liability arises from the breach of a duty fixed by law; this
duty is towards persons generally, and its breach is redressible by an action for unliquidated
damages”.
Burdick defines a tort as “an act or omission which unlawfully violates a person’s right
created by law, and for which the appropriate remedy is a common law action for damages by
the injured person”.
Black’s Law Dictionary (seventh Edition):
(1) defines a “tort” as; “A civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the
form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on everyone in the same relation to
one another as those involved in a given transaction.” The word, “tort” is a French word
which means a “fault” or a “wrong.”
(2) Torts are not claims for breach of contract, except in very special and limited contexts.
Torts can, but do not have to, constitute crimes. Actions in tort are civil cases, as opposed to
criminal cases. An example of a tort that is not necessarily a crime is if a person were to
negligently spill, boiling water on another person, causing the latter serious burn injuries, or
if a person were to negligently cause another to fall down the stairs and suffer injuries.

Finally:
"A civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, which the law will redress by an award of
damages. The breach of a duty, primarily fixed by law, towards persons generally which is
redressible by an action for unliquidated damages."

Elements of Tort:
There are two Elements of Tort, (A). Damage & (B)., Mens Rea
(A). Damage: Damage is the physical effect of the defendant’s act.The infliction of damage
on anybody is a violation of the general duty not to hurt anybody by word or deed, for which
an action lies in tort. However, legal damage or damage that constitutes liability in tort is not
identical with damage in the popular sense. Legal damage may generally be said to be
constituted by a combination of Damnum and Injuria. By (1) damnum is meant “damage in
the substaination sense of money, loss of comfort, healty or the like”, while (2). Injuria (lit
contrary to law) means “an unauthorized interference,
(B). Mens Rea: A culpable condition of the mind (as a mental antecedent of the wrongful act
of the dependent) is the second element usually required for liability for a tort.The maxim is
Actus non facit reum, sit rea, the act itself creates no guilty in the absence of a guilty mind.
In this context, however, the mens rea, must not be understood in the narrow sense in which it
is used in the law of crimes. In the law of torts, the maxim does not mean that the act, must be
done with a wicked or evil motive, but simply means that the act must concur in the act, - the
act must be done either (a). with a wrongful intention or (b). with culpable negligence on the
part of the defendant.



                               Tort and Crime distinction:
(1). As to the nature of the wrong –
     Wrongful act of an individual for which another individual suffer unlawfully,
     Individual commits an unlawful wrong towards the whole community.
(2). As to Procedure -
     In tort, the injured party himself files the suit.
     In crime, the proceeding are taken and conducted in the name of the State, which
        conducts the prosecution either on its own or on a complaint of a private party.
(3). As to Remedy –
     In tort, the wrongdoer has to compensate the injury party;
     In crime he is punished or fine or both by the State

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Definition of tort

  • 1. Law of Torts and Consumer Protection (LLBH 1231) nd 2 Lecture, Date: 31.05.2012 Definition of Tort: Sir Salmond defines Tort as; “a civil wrong for which the remedy is a common law action for unliquidated damages, and which is not exclusively the breach of a contract or the breach of a trust or other merely equitable obligation” Summary of Sir Salmond’s definition: (a). a civil wrong ; (b). a common law action; (c). unliquidated damages; (d). not exclusively the breach of a contract; (e). not the breach of a trust According to Winfield; “tortious liability arises from the breach of a duty fixed by law; this duty is towards persons generally, and its breach is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages”. Burdick defines a tort as “an act or omission which unlawfully violates a person’s right created by law, and for which the appropriate remedy is a common law action for damages by the injured person”. Black’s Law Dictionary (seventh Edition): (1) defines a “tort” as; “A civil wrong for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on everyone in the same relation to one another as those involved in a given transaction.” The word, “tort” is a French word which means a “fault” or a “wrong.” (2) Torts are not claims for breach of contract, except in very special and limited contexts. Torts can, but do not have to, constitute crimes. Actions in tort are civil cases, as opposed to criminal cases. An example of a tort that is not necessarily a crime is if a person were to negligently spill, boiling water on another person, causing the latter serious burn injuries, or if a person were to negligently cause another to fall down the stairs and suffer injuries. Finally: "A civil wrong, other than a breach of contract, which the law will redress by an award of damages. The breach of a duty, primarily fixed by law, towards persons generally which is redressible by an action for unliquidated damages." Elements of Tort: There are two Elements of Tort, (A). Damage & (B)., Mens Rea (A). Damage: Damage is the physical effect of the defendant’s act.The infliction of damage on anybody is a violation of the general duty not to hurt anybody by word or deed, for which an action lies in tort. However, legal damage or damage that constitutes liability in tort is not identical with damage in the popular sense. Legal damage may generally be said to be
  • 2. constituted by a combination of Damnum and Injuria. By (1) damnum is meant “damage in the substaination sense of money, loss of comfort, healty or the like”, while (2). Injuria (lit contrary to law) means “an unauthorized interference, (B). Mens Rea: A culpable condition of the mind (as a mental antecedent of the wrongful act of the dependent) is the second element usually required for liability for a tort.The maxim is Actus non facit reum, sit rea, the act itself creates no guilty in the absence of a guilty mind. In this context, however, the mens rea, must not be understood in the narrow sense in which it is used in the law of crimes. In the law of torts, the maxim does not mean that the act, must be done with a wicked or evil motive, but simply means that the act must concur in the act, - the act must be done either (a). with a wrongful intention or (b). with culpable negligence on the part of the defendant. Tort and Crime distinction: (1). As to the nature of the wrong –  Wrongful act of an individual for which another individual suffer unlawfully,  Individual commits an unlawful wrong towards the whole community. (2). As to Procedure -  In tort, the injured party himself files the suit.  In crime, the proceeding are taken and conducted in the name of the State, which conducts the prosecution either on its own or on a complaint of a private party. (3). As to Remedy –  In tort, the wrongdoer has to compensate the injury party;  In crime he is punished or fine or both by the State