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2022 Spring

LAW OF TORTS - LEG216/B Spring 2022


Course
Carollann Braum
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

This course will introduce and elaborate upon the scope and function of the law of torts, the bases of liability and the interests to be protected through the law of torts. Studies will cover negligence, duty, breach, causation and remoteness of damage; negligent infliction of person injuries; assessment of damages; occupier’s liability; employer’s liability; product liability; negligent infliction of other physical damage and economic loss; negligent misstatements; assault, battery, false imprisonment and other intentional physical harm; interference with economic interests; nuisance; liability for animals, defamation; vicarious liability; the effect of death on liability; and defences.

Torts

Course code: LEG 216 A

Semester and year: Fall 2021

Day and time: Thursday 11:30-14:15

Instructor: Carollann Braum

Instructor contact: Carollann.braum@aauni.edu

Consultation hours: Thursday 10:30-11:30 by appointment, MS Teams by appointment

Meeting: Room 2.03 and MS Teams

 

Credits US/ECTS

3.75/7.5

Level

Intermediate

Length

15 weeks

Pre-requisite

Level 5 LLB

Contact hours

42 hours

Course type

Bachelor Required

1.   Course Description

Students will undertake a thorough study of the law of tort. The law of tort concerns the civil liability for the wrongful infliction of injury by one person upon another.  During the course, students will be introduced to the different areas of tort law, as well as how each area can apply in various fact patterns. Students will learn how to analyze each of these areas and will understand their relationships and differences and will be able to properly apply them while supporting their arguments with applicable case law and statutes.

 

Course Purpose and Overview

Tort law is one of the seven foundation modules required for a qualifying law degree in England and Wales and is a core requirement of the University of London LLB. This module introduces students to various sectors of liability in tort, with primary emphasis on the tort of negligence.

 

Course Aims

In the first part, students are introduced to the organising principles of tort law, such as damage, fault and vicarious liability. For the majority of the module, students will explore each element of the cause of action in a negligence claim, with particular emphasis on the duty of care concept. The module builds on the duty of care concept to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of principles of liability governing pure economic loss, psychiatric harm and liability of public authorities. The module also explores those torts aimed at the safe and quiet enjoyment of land and protection of reputation.

 

2.   Student Learning Outcomes

LEARNING OUTCOMES: KNOWLEDGE

Students completing this module are expected to have knowledge and understanding of the main concepts and principles of tort law. In particular they should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the relationship between policy and principle in common law and legislative provisions in the tort of negligence;
  2. Explain the way in which the duty concept is used as a device to control liability for pure economic loss, psychiatric injury and the liability of public bodies;
  3. Analyse the legal principles governing liability of occupiers of premises;
  4. Explain the law of nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher;
  5. Analyse the elements of a claim in defamation and the extent to which the defences to defamation promote free speech.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES: SKILLS

Students completing this module should be able to demonstrate:

  1. A developed capacity for effective legal analysis and argument;
  2. Enhanced reasoning skills in relation to moderately complex legal questions and problems;
  3. The ability to evaluate and critique standard legal materials and arguments;
  4. The ability to conduct moderately complex research exercises and use research evidence.

 

3.   Reading Material

Required Materials

  • All materials are those recommended by London for 2019-20, including the Torts Module Guide.
  • Gilike, P. Tort. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2017), sixth edition [ISBN 9780414060685].

Recommended Materials

  • Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort, 19th edition, Goudkamp, J. and E. Peel [ISBN 9780414025653].
  • Street on Torts, Witting C. [ISBN 9780198700944].
  • Markesinis and Deakin’s Tort Law, 7th edition, Deakin, S., A. Johnson and B. Markesinis[ISBN 9780199591985].
  • Tort, 5th edition, Giliker, P. Tort [ISBN 9780414033016].
  • Tort Law, 4th edition, Horsey, K. and E. Rackley [ISBN 9780198718499].
  • Tort Law, McBride, N.J. and R. Bagshaw [ISBN 9781292010755].
  • Tort Law: Text, Cases and Materials, 3rd edition, Steele, J. [ISBN 9780199671403].
  • Hepple and Matthews’ Tort: Cases and Materials, 7th edition, O’Sullivan, J., J. Morgan, S. Tofaris, M. Matthews and D. Howarth [ISBN 9781849465557] (due to be published in November 2015).

4.   Teaching methodology

This course is taught over the period of one academic year from September through April (28 sessions).  Additional sessions will be scheduled during the year for a total of 32 scheduled meetings. Classes will involve a variety of teaching methods: predominately seminar and lecture.  There will be active participation in discussions, analysis of cases, presentations, at home preparation and homework assignments with follow-up analysis and discussion in class. Practice Essays/Exams will be assignment throughout the course.

 

Individual conferences with students will be an integral part of the course, giving students important opportunities to ask specific questions and receive additional individualized support. Students will be expected to come to the individual meetings prepared with questions, challenges, and specific areas they would like to discuss in more detail.  Throughout the course, classes will involve lectures (particularly important during the first several weeks of class, when students are being exposed to a large amount of information), in-class discussions of cases and materials, as well as practice writings and practice exams. The style of the class will generally involve a conversation led by the professor in which all students are expected to participate. Students will also be encouraged to communicate with the professor via email or by appointment outside of class time.

5.   Course Schedule

PLEASE NOTE: Schedule is subject to change depending on the Pace of the Students and Lectures. Readings will be assigned for each week. Several Additional Classes will be scheduled – TBD

 

Date

Class Agenda

Sept. 2

Topic: Introduction to Torts and Modern Influences on Torts Law

Description: Overview of Torts, including introduction to Donoghue vs Stevenson and the role of Tort Law in Society  

Sept. 9

Topic: What is Tort & Modern Influences on Torts Law

Description: Introduction to basic principles of Torts, primary considerations and how Torts impacts larger societal issues

Reading: Module Guide Chapters 1 and 2; Giliker, Chapter 1 ‘The nature of tortious liability’

Assignments/deadlines: Activity 1.1 and 2.3 – NEO Forums

Sept. 16

Topic: Trespass to the person and to the land

Description: Trespass to the person, assault, battery, psychological injury, trespass to land

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 3; Giliker, Chapter 11 ‘Trespass’

Assignments/deadlines: Activities 3.1, and 3.2 – NEO Forums

Sept. 23

Topic: Negligence – Basic Principles and Duty of Care

Description:  Duty of Care

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 4; Giliker, Chapter 2 ‘Negligence: the duty of care’, Sections 2-001 to 2-009.

Assignments/deadlines: Activity 4.3

Sept. 30

Topic: Duty of Care

Description: Duty of Care continued, emphasis on the case of Hill and the elements of negligence

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 4; Giliker, Chapter 2 ‘Negligence: the duty of care’, Sections 2-009 to 2-021. Hill v. Chief Constable of New South Wales

Oct. 7

Topic: Breach of Duty

Description: Introduction to Breach of Duty

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 9; Giliker, Chapter 5 ‘Negligence: breach of duty’.

Assignments/deadlines: Activities 9.1, and 9.2 – NEO Forums

Oct. 14

Topic: Breach of Duty

Description: Continue with Breach of Duty, moving into cases of Hill, Michael and Robinson

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 9; Giliker, Chapter 5 ‘Negligence: breach of duty’. Cases: Hill, Michael, Robinson

Oct. 21

Topic: Causation & Remoteness

Description: Introduction to Causation

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 10; Giliker, Chapter 6 ‘Causation and remoteness’.

Assignments/deadlines: Activity 10.1– NEO Forums

Oct 28

Mid-Term Break: NO CLASS

Nov. 4

Topic: Causation & Remoteness

Description: Causation continued

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 10; Giliker, Chapter 6 ‘Causation and remoteness’.

Nov. 11

Topic: Defenses to Negligence

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 11; Gilker, Chapter 16 ‘Defences to negligence’, Sections 16-001 to 16-030.

Assignments/deadlines: Activities 11.1, and 11.2 – NEO Forums

Nov. 18

Practice Exam

Nov. 25

Topic: Liability for Omissions

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 8; Giliker, Chapter 2 ‘Negligence: the duty of care’, Sections 2-022 to 2-030.

Assignments/deadlines: Activities 8.1, and 8.2 – NEO Forums

Dec. 2

Topic: Torts Article (25% of UOL Exam)

Description and Reading:

Dec. 9

Topic: Torts Article (25% of UOL Exam)

Description and Reading:

 

 

 

Spring Tentative Schedule

Date

Class Agenda

Jan. 20

Topic: Psychiatric Harm

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 5;

Assignments/deadlines:

Jan. 27

Topic: Pure Economic Loss & Negligent Statements

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 6

Assignments/deadlines:

Feb. 3

Topic: Liability of Public Bodies

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 7

Assignments/deadlines:

Feb. 10

Topic: Employer’s Liability

Description:  

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 12

Assignments/deadlines:

Feb. 17

Topic: Vicarious Liability

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 13

Feb. 24

Topic: Pure Economic Loss

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 14

Mar. 3

Topic: Occupier’s Liability

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 15

Mar. 10

Topic: Nuisance

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 16

Mar. 17

Topic: Rylands v Fletcher

Description:

Reading: Module Guide Chapter 17

Mar. 24

Topic: Privacy

Description:

Reading: Chapter 18

March 31

Mid-Term Break: NO CLASS

April 7

Review

April 14

Review

April 21

Review

April 28

Review

Course

6.   Course Requirements and Assessment (with estimated workloads)

Assignment

Workload (average)

Weight in Final Grade

Evaluated Course Specific Learning Outcomes

Evaluated Institutional Learning Outcomes*

LLB students have summative assessments issued solely by the University of London, however they will engage with regular formative assessments. Assessment will be made through weekly reading discussions, as well as on practice writings and practice exams.  Students outside of the LLB program will have a final mark issued.

150

100%

Examination is based on the entire course and all materials covered.

 

1, 2, 3

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

150

100%

 

 

*1 = Critical Thinking; 2 = Effective Communication; 3 = Effective and Responsible Action

7.   Detailed description of the assignments

Assignment 1:

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Mock Examination: Negligence (Duty, Breach, Cause, Harm)

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 2:

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Mock Exam Article

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.   General Requirements and School Policies

General requirements

All coursework is governed by AAU’s academic rules. Students are expected to be familiar with the academic rules available in the Codex and Student Handbook and to maintain the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity in their work.

Electronic communication and submission

The university and instructors shall only use students’ university email address for communication. It is strongly recommended that any email communication between students and instructors take place in NEO LMS.

Each e-mail sent to an instructor that is about a new topic (meaning not a reply to an original email) shall have a new and clearly stated subject and shall have the course code in the subject, for example: “COM101-1 Mid-term Exam. Question”.

All electronic submissions are carried out through NEO LMS. No substantial pieces of writing (especially take home exams and essays) can be submitted outside of NEO LMS.

Attendance

All students will be expected to join the classes either in person or on MS Teams. Attendance will be taken at the beginning and end of each class session. Attendance will be recorded for all students each session on the class NEO page (online learning platform).

AAU requires that all absences must be excused through an official process, which is overseen and approved by the Dean of Students, and then communicated directly to the instructors. Law Students must attend 80% of their courses, per UOL’s requirements, regardless of whether an absences are excused by AAU. Excused absences count as absences. This means students can miss only 20% of your classes, regardless of whether it is excused.

Students attending through MS Teams will be required to actively participate in class discussion at the same level as if they were in person. The instructors will be asking them direct questions and will encourage them to ask questions as well. These questions will be asked spontaneously, as they are in regular in-person classes, to ensure that students are actively paying attention and have come prepared to the classes (this is based on the Socratic Method).

Students that do not respond to the instructor during class will be counted as absent, this way it will ensure that all students are participating in the classes.  If a student must take a break during the class, they will need to note that in the chat function on MS Teams, so that the instructor is aware of how long they are gone.

All MS Teams class sessions will be recorded and posted on MS Teams, so that students may watch the recorded sessions as many times as needed.

Watching a recorded lecture may only count as attendance for LLB students if the absence is excused and the student produces an approximately 500 word document highlighting at least 3 things he/she learned from the lecture. This must be submitted within 72 hours of the missed class session. Before counting it as attendance, the instructor has discretion to follow-up directly with the student to ensure that he/she satisfactorily watched and understood the lecture.

 Absence excuse and make-up options

Should a student be absent from classes for relevant reasons (illness, serious family matters), s/he must submit to the Dean of Students an Absence Excuse Request Form supplemented with documents providing reasons for the absence. The form and documents must be submitted within one week of the absence. If possible, it is recommended the instructor be informed of the absence in advance. Should a student be absent during the add/drop period due to a change in registration this will be an excused absence if s/he submits an Absence Excuse Request Form along with the finalized add/drop form.

Assignments missed due to unexcused absences cannot be made up which may result in a decreased or failing grade as specified in the syllabus.

Students whose absence has been excused by the Dean of Students are entitled to make up assignments and exams provided their nature allows for a make-up. Students are responsible for contacting their instructor within one week of the date the absence was excused to arrange for make-up options.

Late work: No late submissions will be accepted – please follow the deadlines.

Electronic devices

Electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops…) may be used only for class-related activities (taking notes, looking up related information, etc.). Any other use will result in the student being marked absent and/or being expelled from the class. No electronic devices may be used during tests or exams.

Eating is not allowed during classes.

Cheating and disruptive behavior

If a student engages in disruptive or other conduct unsuitable for a classroom environment of an institution of learning, the instructor may require the student to withdraw from the room for the duration of the activity or for the day and shall report the behavior to the Dean.

Students engaging in behavior which is suggestive of cheating (e.g. whispering or passing notes) will, at a minimum, be warned. In the case of continued misbehavior the student will be expelled from the exam and the exam will be marked as failed.

Plagiarism and Academic Tutoring Center

Plagiarism is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Random House, New York, 1993)

Turnitin’s White Paper ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum’ (available at http://go.turnitin.com/paper/plagiarism-spectrum) identifies 10 types of plagiarism ordered from most to least severe:

  1. CLONE: An act of submitting another’s work, word-for-word, as one’s own.
  2. CTRL-C: A written piece that contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.
  3. FIND–REPLACE: The act of changing key words and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source in a paper.
  4. REMIX: An act of paraphrasing from other sources and making the content fit together seamlessly.
  5. RECYCLE: The act of borrowing generously from one’s own previous work without citation; To self-plagiarize.
  6. HYBRID: The act of combining perfectly cited sources with copied passages—without citation—in one paper.
  7. MASHUP: A paper that represents a mix of copied material from several different sources without proper citation.
  8. 404 ERROR: A written piece that includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources
  9. AGGREGATOR: The “Aggregator” includes proper citation, but the paper contains almost no original work.
  10. RE-TWEET: This paper includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or structure.

 

As the minimum policy the types of plagiarism from 1 through 8 results in the failing grade from the assignment and must be reported to the Dean. The Dean may initiate a disciplinary procedure pursuant to the Academic Codex. Allegations of bought papers and intentional or consistent plagiarism always entail disciplinary hearing and may result in expulsion from AAU.

If unsure about technical aspects of writing, students are encouraged to consult their papers with the tutors of the AAU Academic Tutoring Center. For more information and/or to book a tutor, please contact the ATC at: http://atc.simplybook.me/sheduler/manage/event/1/.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities are asked to contact their instructor as soon as possible to discuss reasonable accommodation..

 

 

Prepared by and when: Carollann Braum, August 30, 2021

Approved by and when: Carollann Braum, August 30, 2021

Here is the course outline:

1. What is Tort Law and Modern Influences

Feb 28

Very broadly, tort law is one of the methods by which people who have suffered injuries are compensated. It deals with whether losses should ‘lie where they fall’ or should be transferred to someone thought to be ‘to blame’ (not necessarily in a moral sense) for what has happened. The person ‘to blame’ will often be insured or will be a large company or government department and so the losses will often be spread more widely. For example, when a person is injured by a careless motorist, the motorist’s insurance company will pay the damages and the ultimate costs of the accident will fall on the general community who pay insurance premiums. We have seen that human rights principles are increasingly important in the development of tort law. Other external factors, such as insurance, have a considerable influence on tort law. Nevertheless, the main source of compensation for accidents is state benefit.

2. Trespass to the Person and Trespass to Land

Mar 7

Trespass, one of the oldest torts, was developed to give legal remedies to those who might otherwise be driven to exact personal vengeance in response to an unjustifiable interference with their person, land or property. This chapter will deal with trespass to the person in detail and trespass to land in outline. It is important to note the overlap of this tort with the criminal law, for instance in the case of battery and assault. However, there are key differences between tort and the criminal law and so it is important that keep your focus primarily on the nature of tortious liability, despite the fact that some of the cases cited are criminal cases. Trespass torts concern intentional and direct actions by the defendant and are actionable per se, that is without proof of damage.

3. Duty of Care

Mar 14

Negligence is the most important modern tort. It is founded on a principle of wide and general application. This chapter outlines some of the social and policy questions that have influenced the development of negligence. The basic structure of the tort and the organisation of the material in subsequent chapters is also described. Negligence is now a tort of great size and complexity. This guide (as in most textbooks) sets out the questions of duty, breach, causation and remoteness in that order. This often means that some of the most complex issues are dealt with at great length under the heading of ‘duty of care’.

4. Breach of Duty

Mar 28

Module Guide Chapter 9 We have seen that the first step in establishing a claim in negligence is to show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the claimant. The next question is whether there has been a breach of that duty. Has the defendant actually been negligent? As a practical matter, this is very important. It will often be a major issue between the claimant’s advisers and the defendant’s advisers or insurers in attempting to reach a settlement.

5. Causation and Remoteness

Mar 21

Causation

6. Mock Exams

Apr 4

Practice Exams

7. Journal Article for Exam

Apr 11

The Tort law examination is split into two parts: Part A Will be based around a journal article. The article is available using the online library. You will be expected to find, read and familiarise yourself with the article as the exam will include questions on it and will be worth 25% of the marks. Part B Includes a choice of essay and problem based questions from which you must answer three questions out of eight and is worth 75% of the marks.

8. Defenses to Negligence

Apr 18

Defenses

9. Liability for Omissions

Apr 25

Omissions

10. Public Authorities - Breach of Duty

Jul 25

Controversially, public bodies, such as police and local authorities and rescue services, are unlikely to be held responsible in tort for a mere failure to act (save in circumstances where they may be liable under the tort of breach of statutory duty which we do not cover in this module). In this chapter we examine the underlying policy considerations and the principles that govern liability in negligence for public bodies.

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