Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Are the Torts of Trespass to the Person Obsolete? Part 1: Historical Development

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine Beuermann



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Thomson Reuters, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article re-examines the liability currently imposed by the courts for trespass to the person. It demonstrates that the process for imposing such liability has evolved so that the courts now both carefully scrutinise how the defendant engaged in the conduct which interfered with the plaintiff’s personal security and finely balance a range of competing interests. To the extent that the process for imposing liability for trespass to the person is not dissimilar to the process for imposing liability in the tort of negligence, this article questions whether the torts of trespass to the person might now be viewed as obsolete. The article is in two parts. Part one examines the historical development of trespass to the person. Part two (to be published separately) explores whether it is possible to identify anything distinctive about the process for determining liability in trespass to the person (as it has continued to evolve) when compared with the process for determining liability in negligence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beuermann C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Tort Law Review

Year: 2017

Volume: 25

Issue: 3

Pages: 103-118

Print publication date: 13/07/2018

Acceptance date: 31/05/2018

Date deposited: 29/06/2018

ISSN (print): 1039-3285

Publisher: Thomson Reuters