Week 3: Intentional Torts to Person
This week’s material was the start of looking at intentional torts to person. This can be also called trespass to persons or intentional torts to persons. For this area is broken into two main groups: Trespass and Case. Trespass occurs when a direct and immediate action is involved whereas Case applies when the act is indirect. The classic example of this is a log on a road. If the defendant throws a log and it hits the plaintive whilst on a highway then this would be considered Trespass. If however the log was on the highway and the plaintive drove into the log, this would be Case.
The remainder of this week’s material considered three other forms of trespass: those of assault, battery and false imprisonment. Where assault refers to one person deliberately creating an apprehension of imminent harm, battery is where one person correctly and intentionally brings about harmful or offensive contact and false imprisonment is the direct and intentional confinement of one person within an area limited by the other.
Probably the most challenging aspect of this material was considering when was a situation considered assault, as opposed to harassment or stalking or some other wrongdoing. And compounding this is the difference in Queensland where under section 245 of the Criminal Code Act 1899, the statutory definition of assault also incorporates the common law definition of battery. And as a result civil actions in Queensland of battery would then use the criminal code definition of assault. This definition does also bring with it a change in the type of force required, adding to this definition “indirect force”. It also brings with it some defences such as self-defence and provocation, which make a instance of battery legally justifiable under those circumstances.
I enjoyed attempting a response to the additional problem question question that was set for this week, as well as reading through other people’s interpretations and responses to the tutorial questions this week.