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Tort and other areas of law

Previous: Introduction

Tort is well intertwined with other areas of law, notably criminal law, contract law and unjust enrichment.

Tort and criminal law

While tort law attempts to compensate and criminal law attempts to punish, there are connections between the two areas.

It is also possible to have concurrent civil and criminal cases against the same wrongdoer, as long as they are not trying to achieve the same outcome: The civil case must not be looking for punitive results.

Tort and contract law

Tort and contract are more closely related to each other; tort law seeks to restore a victim to their position should the wrong not have occurred, while contract law seeks to give the promisee the benefit of a contract. In Henderson v Merrett Syndicates [1995], Lord Goff said that tortious duties may arise under contracts.

In contract law, a claim can be made up to 6 years after the breach occurred, while in tort law, a claim can be made up to 6 years after the damage occurred, which is often much further into the future, and may be pursuable when a contractual claim is not.

Tort and unjust enrichment

According to Lord Goff, there are 3 requirements for an unjust enrichment claim:

  1. The defendant must have been enriched by a benefit
  2. The enrichment must have occurred to the expense of the claimant
  3. It must be unjust for the defendant to retain their benefit

Next: Negligence and the duty of care

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