The Law of Tort - LW651

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) MR PC Laleng


LW315/325 Introduction to Obligations. Co-requisite LW650 Law of Contract.


Only available to Law students. Cannot be taken if already taken LW597.



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 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". This is primarily doctrinal but informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.

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


Contact hours

Two hours of lectures and one hour seminar per teaching week.


Spring term.

Method of assessment

30% coursework consisting of a legal problem question and 70% examination.

Preliminary reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Build on Introduction to Obligations and Foundations of Property in developing an in-depth understanding of the nature of private law, its sub-divisions and development.
2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the main types of legal obligation arising from the law of torts and of the principles and rules of this area of law.
3. Identify the tortious legal issues raised in legal problem situations of a significant degree of complexity.
4. Use case and statute law, where appropriate, to predict the possible legal outcomes of problem situations of a significant degree of complexity in the areas of tort law outlined in synopsis.
5. Use the knowledge of the law gained, and of its contextual and socio-economic underpinnings, to engage with questions of policy, regulation and change.
6. Demonstrate Well-developed case reading skills, including an ability to understand and critique the arguments made and which may drive the outcome of a case, as well as policy and other considerations that may affect outcomes of cases.
7. Use cases, including judicial quotation (including from dissenting judgments), to help support (or negate) an argument.
8. Detailed understanding of the use of precedent while understanding the ability of judges to be creative, including an advanced ability to judge the weight of a case (or judgment) and provide critical and contextual comment.
9. Conduct research into complex legal issues to discover the relevant rules and principles, relevant cases (or statutes), secondary or extra-legal sources and to use these to construct sophisticated arguments and legal opinions while recognising areas of uncertainty or contention.

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