Essay about Tortious Liability

960 Words Mar 27th, 2011 4 Pages

From a legal standpoint, a tort is a private or civil wrong or injury (other than a breach of contract) for which a court of law may provide a remedy through a lawsuit for damages (compensation). For example, when a person violates his/her duty to others created under general (or statutory) law, a tort has been committed. Tort law relies heavily on the common law, the legal opinions of the Courts, general trends in the community, and legal scholarship to guide its relevance in today’s world.

Simply put, the Encyclopedia Britannica states, “ a tort is an instance of unlawful conduct that either is dangerous to life and limb, causes mental anguish, damages personal reputations, or violates
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A breach of contract, for example, will entitle the wronged party to receive damages, but the form of action in such a case is in the law of contract, not tort. It is possible, of course, for an act or omission to be both a tort and a breach of contract. Because of the overlap in such areas, the strict definition of tort has been traditionally been a subject of keen academic debate.

For the purposes of Industrial Relations, there is a clear correlation between elements of tort as it affects the workplace. Indeed, this relationship between the law of tort and the workplace can be traced back to English common law and the principles of labour law and legislation.

It is quite clear that the principles of tort law can be found in:

a) Principles of Civil Conspiracy Doctrine – where criminal liability was removed from Trade Unions who were engaged in strikes and picketing. However, Trade Unions were still liable as an entity for tort, that is, from a civil law perspective.

b) Principle of Contractual Interference – Here, labour combinations’ activities now became related to tortious interference with contract or work relationships. It should be noted that the right to be free from interference arises in contract, while the remedy is pursued in tort. This basically means that the theory that interference with the contract relations was an actionable tort. Put

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