Assault-A threat of violence or injury to a person
Battery- The unlawful touching or touching of another person
Although in court, the two terms can be used interchangeably the distinction between the two is still very
important because not every application of force by one person or another is a battery within the meaning of
law. For the “battery” to be actionable, it must be applied with the intention of causing harm. Where it does
not cause harm, it must be done without consent, in anger, or accompanied by a threat of injury or violence
in order to constitute a tort.
In some cases, a battery need not be violent. It is sufficient for it to be any situation that involved the
touching of a person without consent in such a way that recipient of such action is injured.
The damages that courts may award in assault and battery cases are designed to compensate the plaintiffs for
the injuries suffered. But in many cases, when the attacks on the plaintiff are vicious in nature, there may be
punitive damages as well in an effort to prevent the act of the defendant of being repeated.
The defence that the defendant may be able to raise is provocation or self-defence. However, provocation
usually affects the amount of punitive damages that the plaintiff is awarded, not able to absolve the defendant
of the liability. Self-defence, on the other hand can be a complete defence if the defendant if they can satisfy
the courts in proving that they had a genuine fear of injury.
Normally, the courts also require the defendant to establish that the amount of force used was reasonable and
necessary under the circumstances.
Employer Vicarious Liability- The liability of an employer for acts of his or her employees in the course
of business. It is important to note that there is a difference between the civil and criminal consequences
for the act of an employee. The employer may be liable for the actions of the employee in the case of a
tort committed by the employee in the ordinary course of business, only the employee will be liable for
the criminal consequences of the act. Only if it can be proven that the employer directed or authorized the
employee’s act would they be liable for the criminal offence as well.
False Imprisonment-intentional interference, represents any restraint of confinement of the individual by a
person who has no lawful right to restrict the freedom of another
False imprisonment is also a criminal offence in the form of forcible confinement. If a party is found guilty
for false imprisonment then they can be liable for imprisonment themselves for up to 10 years. An item they
can use in their defence would be that the alleged criminal displayed a lack of resistance under no threats,
duress or the use of force.
Intentional Interference with the Reputation of a Person
Defamation-False statements that injure a person’s reputation
Can occur in either libel (written) or slander (spoken).
Generally, in a defamation case, the plaintiff must prove that the defamation seriously injured their
reputation; otherwise the courts will only reward nominal damages.
As a defence to the action of defamation there is qualified privilege and absolute privilege. Absolute privilege
protects the speaker of the words absolutely, regardless of the words’ truth or falsity, and even if they are
1 made with malicious intent. This defence is limited to those cases where it is in the public’s interest to allow
for defamatory statements to be made. Qualified privilege would apply when the defendant can show that the
statements were made in good faith and without malicious intent, even though the facts that they believed to
be true at the time were subsequently proven to be false. The reasoning for qualified privilege is to allow for
free speech on matters of public importance, and balancing this intent with the protection of the individual’s
Intentional Interference with Land and Chattels
**Note that there is a portion of the laws here that pertain to property law; however there is a still a portion
that is categorized as a tort
Trespass- A tort consisting of the injury of a person, the entry on the lands of another without permission, or
the seizure or damage of goods of another without consent
Trespass to Land
Act of entering the land of another without the express or implied consent of the person in lawful possession.
It would also constitute as a trespass if a person who lawfully enters a land but refuses to leave when
requested to do so by the rightful owner. Trespass is an interference with the common law right to peaceful
enjoyment of one’s property
Conversion and Willful Damage to Goods
Conversion-The refusal to deliver up a chattel to its rightful owner by a bailee
For the tort of conversion to exist, the lawful owner must be denied possession and enjoyment of the goods,
and the defendant must retain the goods without colour of right
The second form of trespas