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Flashcards in Trespass to the Person - Assault Deck (12)
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1

What is an assault?

As stated in the case of Collins v Wilcock, an assault is ‘an act which causes another person to apprehend the infliction of immediate, unlawful force on his person’.

2

What are the four requirements for an actionable assault?

1. The defendant must intend or be reckless as to the claimant’s apprehending of the application of unlawful force;
2. The claimant must reasonably apprehend immediate unlawful force being applied to them; and
3. The threat must be of the application of immediate and direct force
4. No lawful justification or excuse (defences)

3

What is the requirement of intention for an actionable assault?

The defendant must intend or be reckless as to whether the claimant would fear the immediate infliction of force.

4

What is the requirement of reasonable apprehension for an actionable assault?

The defendant’s actions must be such that they would cause the reasonable person to believe that the defendant was about to inflict force upon them. The test of fear is objective, so tort is actionable per se.

5

Which case illustrates the importance of 'reasonable apprehension' in an actionable assault?

Stephens v Myers

6

What are the details and findings of Stephens v Myers Case?

The Defendant was asked to leave a parish council meeting. He then threatened the chair with violence and advanced toward the chair with a clenched fist before being intercepted. It was held that there was a 'reasonable apprehension' of force, so the defendant was liable in assault.

7

What is the requirement that the threat must be of the application of immediate and direct force?

It was said in the case of Stephen v Myers that - “It is not every threat where there is no actual violence that constitutes an assault, there must, in all cases, be the means of carrying that threat into effect”

8

Which cases illustrate the importance of the threat of the application of immediate and direct force?

1. Thomas v National Union of Miners
2. R v Ireland
3. Tuberville v Savage

9

What are the details and findings of the case of Thomas v National Union of Miners?

During the miners’ strike a group of striking miners outside a mine shouted abuse and threats at miners being bussed in to work in the pit. One of the miners on the bus sought to sue the organising union in battery. It was held that there was no threat of the application fo immediate and direct force so there was no assault.

10

What are the details and findings of the case of R v Ireland?

The defendant had been harassing women for some time, including by making silent phone calls to them. The court held ‘a thing said is also a thing done’ and the defendant was liable for assault.

11

What are the details and findings of the case of Tuberville v Savage?

The defendant placed his hand on his sword and stated ‘if it were not assize time I would not take such language from you.’ It was held that there was no assault as the words used expressly precluded a threat of the application of immediate and direct force.

12

What, under the 'no lawful justification or excuse' requirement, are the defences for assault?

The same core defences that apply to battery can also apply to assault.