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11.1 Defences and Limitation of Liability - Introduction

Welcome to the first lesson of the eleventh topic in this module guide - Defences and the Limitation of Liability! Defendants may try to negate or reduce liability either by reference to their own positive behaviour, or through pointing out the claimant’s own misdeeds. There are a number of regularly resorted to defences, and knowledge of these will be important in dealing with problem questions.

At the end of this section, you should be comfortable understanding the rules and case law relating to contributory negligence, consent, authorisation, necessity and illegality. The section begins by running through each of these full or partial defences in turn, discussing the various requisite elements and the interpretation of them in the case law. There is then a discussion of the limitation of liability in terms of time and the Limitation Act 1980.

Goals for this section:

  • To understand and be able to apply a number of full or partial defences to tortious liability.

Objectives for this section:

  • To be able to apply the rules and case law relating to contributory negligence.
  • To discuss the full defence of consent, and how it applies to various factual scenarios.
  • To understand the defences of authorisation, necessity and illegality, and how these can be applied to a variety of circumstances.
  • To be able to discuss the time limitations on liability for a number of different torts and scenarios.

Start the Lecture

We have three lengths of lecture to suit varying study needs. Select one of the options below to get started (if you have already chosen a study level you will see the option highlighted in violet):

Summary Notes Standard Lecture Detailed Lecture

Problem Questions

Each lecture is also accompanied by hands on examples of problem questions for the subject. You can jump directly to the questions below:

Hands on Examples