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Law of Tort - Coursework Example

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Law of Tort

Nevertheless, Gearty reports, an action in private nuisance now covers a wide array of malfeasances such as “smelly oil depots, noisy speedboats” as well as “dangerous natural hazards” and can even cover using one’s premises “for prostitution.3 It therefore follows that the manner in which an individual uses his/her own land can interfere with another’s enjoyment of his/her land. Loyd LJ reflects the essence of these developments in the tort of private nuisance and Professor Winfield’s definition of private nuisance.4 In this regard, Lloyd LJ identified three specific kinds of private nuisances. First a private nuisance exists when a neighbour’s land is encroached upon. Secondly, a private nuisance occurs with a neighbour’s land sustains physical damages directly and finally, private nuisance occurs when the quiet enjoyment of the neighbour’s land is interfered with.5 It would appear that the first definition of private nuisance is essentially the same as the third definition. ...
To begin with, in order to successfully claim damages for private nuisance, the harm must be reasonably foreseeable.6 The requirement of reasonably foreseeable damages effectively replaces the previously available defence of natural use of the land as expressed in Rylands v Fletcher.7 Rylands established that in the event an individual makes unnatural use of his land and that unnatural use results in an escape that is likely to cause harm, and no steps are taken to circumvent that escape, liability will exist for any damages that are natural consequences of that escape.8 Rylands therefore implies that the natural use of one’s land may not give rise to liability for private nuisance or nuisance generally. Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather however, changes this defence by insisting that the resulting harm must merely be reasonably foreseeable. Brearly explains that the natural user defence was significant for preventing a floodgates of nuisance claims. However, the natural user defence was “intrinsically flawed” in that it could conceivably render ensuing harm from the natural use of one’s land incapable of recovery.9 Therefore the requirement that the harm itself is reasonably foreseeable falls more comfortably under the definition of private nuisance and ensures that interference in the private use of one’s land should not only result in harm, but that harm should be reasonably foreseeable. This requirement is more likely to balance the rights of the neighbour’s use of his land and the defendant’s use of his own land. The unnatural and natural use of one’s land does not always result in harm or interference in one’s neighbour’s use of his/her land. Interference with one’s enjoyment of the use ...Show more

Summary

Question 1: Private Nuisance Professor Winfield’s definition of private nuisance as the unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land or some right over or in connection with it1, captures the common law development of the tort of private nuisance…
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