Describing Justification in Tort: Meaning and Examples

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About this sample


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3 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

Words: 593|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

The term tort has originated from latin word ‘tortum’ which denotes ‘to twist.’ It consists of that behaviour which is not right or not legalized but is twisted, illegal or bent. It includes all those unjust acts where a wrongdoer infringes the legal right conferred on some other individual.

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Justification in tort principally talks about the common defences. These are numerous state of affairs which stop the action from being incorrect, which in their existence would be illegal. When the acuuser files a case against any individual and all the prerequisites of torts are satisfied, such an individual is said to be held accountable. Nonetheless in such circumstances also respondent can save himself from the obligation by taking an excuse of any justification. 

Following are the general defences in torts :

  1. Volenti non fit injuria
  2. Plaintiff’s default
  3. Inevitable accident
  4. Act of God
  5. Private Defence
  6. Mistake
  7. Necessity
  8. Statutory Authority


Volenti Non Fit Injuria 

It basically means “to a willing individual, injury is not done” in a literal sense. This implies that no harm is made to the one who has gave consent to such an damage. Thus, in case the accuser has given his consent to suffer a hurt, he can not whine about it later and his consent serves as a good defence against him. This consent can be either expressed or implied.

The fundamental implication of this proverb was even known to ancient Germans and Romans. They spoke of the saying as nulle injuria est quae in volenti fiat, meaning nothing is an injury which comes out of willingness.

For example, if an individual say ‘A’ invites another individual ‘B’ to his home himself, he cannot blame him for trespass. Another one could of an individual agreeing for a medical operation. The individual who himself agrees to be a onlooker or a player say in a cricket game or a football game etc., can’t complaint about it if he gets injured.

This defence has double application:

  • Application in intentional acts

It applies to those intentional acts which would have been or else be tortious, such as consent to a bodily hurt which would or else have been an assault.

  • Application in accidental acts

It applies to consent to run the danger of accidental harm, which would otherwise be actionable as due to carelessness of the creature who caused it, such as a master is not liable if the servant who got injured has undertaken the job while knowing about the risks.

The idea of this justification can be best percieved with the help of the case.

  • Case: Hall v Brooklands Auto Racing Club
  • Facts: The accuser, in this case, went to watch a motor car race happening at Brooklands on a track which was in possession of the other party. When the race was going on, an unfortunate crash happened between the two cars and one of them was thrown among the onlookers, thereby injuring the accuser. This tragedy befell for the first time after almost 26 years.
  • Held: They were not held liable. The court said that the accuser gave an indirect consent to the danger when he puchased the ticket. The threat of hurt is intrinsic in such types of sport and a sensible man can very well foresee such a threat. The defendants were not insurers of such an accident. 


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Overall, justifications in tort can be specific to a single tort or can also apply to torts on over all basis. Such as, in event of a case of defamation, the respondent can take the plea of fair comment, which is specific to a single tort, i.e., defamation. The defendant can take the plea of ‘volenti non fit injuria’ for trespass, defamation, etc.

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Describing Justification in Tort: Meaning and Examples. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“Describing Justification in Tort: Meaning and Examples.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
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