The Law of Tort - LAWS6510

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Per Laleng checkmark-circle


The bulk of this module will concentrate on the Tort of Negligence in contrast to students' knowledge of the law of trespass to the person (gained in LAWS3150 Introduction to Obligations). Students will focus on the conceptual structure of the tort of negligence, its rise and dominance over other torts, its role in accident compensation, the funding of accident compensation and the role of insurance, and the system’s contribution to an alleged "compensation culture". The approach is primarily doctrinal but is informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.

A smaller section of this module will contrast the predominantly case-based Tort of Negligence with various statutory torts. Students will also consider the Land Torts. This draws further attention to the diverse range of harms or interests protected by tort law and to the diverse conceptual structures of different torts.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 30
Private Study Hours: 120

Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by 40% coursework and 60% examination according to the following breakdown:

Coursework (40%)

Either: A written legal problem question assessment, 2000 words,
Or: with the consent of the module convenor, an assessed moot (15 minutes, in pairs, but assessed individually) and a one-page skeleton argument (subject to availability).

Examination (60%)

2-hour unseen examination.

Reassessment methods

The module will be reassessed by like-for-like reassessment of failed individual component(s) of assessment.

Indicative reading

• Cane, P, Atiyah's Accidents, Compensation and the Law (CUP, 2016 or later edition if published)
• Conaghan, J, and Mansell, W, The Wrongs of Tort (2nd ed.) (Pluto Press, 1998)
• Horsey, K & Rackley E, Tort Law (OUP, 2017 or later edition)
• Lunney, M, Oliphant, K, Nolan, D. Tort Law: Text, cases and materials (6th ed.) (OUP, 2017 or later edition if published)
• Rackley, E, and Richardson, J, Feminist Perspectives on Tort (Routledge-Cavendish, 2012)
• Weir, T An Introduction to Tort Law (OUP, 2006)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the nature of private law and its major sub-divisions.
2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the principles and rules governing the main types of tortious obligation.
3. Use the knowledge of the law and its context, to engage with broader questions of policy, regulation and change.
4. Demonstrate well-developed case reading skills. This will include the ability to understand and critique the legal and policy arguments which may drive the outcome of a case.
5. Use cases, including judicial quotations, to support or negate an argument.
6. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the role of precedent and analogical reasoning in legal decision-making while being alive to the possibility and influence of judicial creativity.
7. Conduct research into complex legal issues involving tort law and use primary, secondary and/or extra-legal sources in the construction of legal arguments while recognising areas of uncertainty or contention.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Use a range of materials and approaches to evaluate legal solutions to tortious disputes.
2. Use library and web resources, including journal articles and policy documents, to conduct research on complex areas.
3. Properly present material with correct citation and use of references where appropriate
4. Show an understanding of the differences in use and value of primary and secondary sources.
5. Distinguish evidence-based claims from unfounded assertions and to use evidence to support their own claims and arguments


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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