The following Dispute Resolution practice note Produced in partnership with Kate Temple-Mabe and Adam Weitzman QC of 7BR provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note identifies the main torts (bar negligence and nuisance, which are covered elsewhere in our related content) and their key characteristics. Specifically:
trespass to land
trespass to the person
liability for animals
conversion and trespass to goods
misfeasance in public office
accessory liability in tort
procurement liability in tort
For practical guidance content on negligence, nuisance and breach of statutory duty claims, see: Tort, negligence and nuisance claims—overview. For guidance on bringing and defending claims against professionals, see: Professional negligence claims—overview.
The tort of trespass to land is committed when a person (D) does an act, which causes entry into the land of another person (C) without permission or justification. It is not necessary for any harm to be caused to the land concerned for the tort to be committed.
For there to be a trespass in tort, D must enter C’s land voluntarily (Stone v Smith).
Any entry will suffice, no matter how trivial or small (Ellis v Loftus Iron).
It is not necessary that D knows that they are committing a trespass. It is therefore possible to trespass accidentally, eg if D is mistaken as to who is the owner of the land concerned (Conway v George Wimpey), or negligently (Network Rail v Conarken).
The definition of 'land' extends not just to the
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