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Flashcards in Trespass to the Person - Harassment Deck (33)
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1

Which piece of legislation governs the Law on Harassment in the UK?

The Protection from Harassment Act 1998.

2

What effect does the Protection from Harassment Act have?

It creates a statutory tort and goes beyond the common law by giving protection to distress which is not a medically recognised psychiatric injury.

3

What is the primary remedy under the Protection from Harassment Act 1998?

The primary remedy under the Act is an injunction to prevent harassing conduct.

4

Which section of the act states the statutory tort?

s1(1)

5

What does s1(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 state?

Prohibition of Harassment
(1) A person must not pursue a course of conduct -
(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and;
(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

6

Which section of the act provides the test for determining when an individual 'ought to know' that given conduct amounts to harassment?

s1(2)

7

What does s1(2) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 state?

(2) For the purposes of this section, the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other.

8

Which case demonstrates the potential scope or extent of harassment cases?

Levi v Bates

9

What are the details of the Levi v Bates Case?

The defendant pursued a course of conduct aimed at the claimant’s husband, including publishing his address and phone number, which the defendant knew the husband shared with the claimant.

10

What are the findings of the Levi v Bates Case?

It was held that the defendant was liable - “[T]he ability to bring a harassment claim extended beyond the targeted individual only to those other persons who had been foreseeably, and directly, harmed by the course of targeted conduct of which complaint was made, to the extent that they could properly be described as victims of it.”

11

How is Harassment defined?

The definition of harassment is deliberately broad.

12

Which section of the Protection from Harassment Act relates to the definition of harassment?

s7(1) and (2)

13

What does s7(1) and (2) state about the definition of harassment?

7 Interpretation of this group of sections.
(1) This section applies for the interpretation of sections [sections 1 to 5a]
(2) References to harassing a person include alarming the person or causing the person distress.

14

Which case provided further clarification on what could be said to constitute harassment?

R v Majrowski

15

What was found of established in the case of R v Majrowski?

Mere irritations and annoyances were not enough, the conduct must reach a level of “oppressive and unacceptable”.

16

What is the significance of a 'course of conduct' in finding harassment?

Generally, a course of conduct is required for a finding of harassment, a single act will not be sufficient.

17

Which section of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 provides for the 'course of conduct' requirements?

s7(3)

18

What does s7(3) provide regarding a 'course of conduct'?

(3) A “course of conduct” must involve -
(a) in the case of conduct in relation to a single person (see section 1(1)), conduct on at least two occasions in relation to that person, or;
(b) in the case of conduct in relation to two or more persons (see section 1(1A)), conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each of those persons.]

19

Which cases illustrate the courts flexible approach to determining what satisfies the 'course of conduct' test?

1. James v DPP
2. Law Society v Kordowski
3. Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd

20

What are the details of the James v DPP case?

J phoned his local authority to complain about the adequacy of his social care on four occasions, two of those occasions were when social services had rung him. On each occasion he was verbally abusive.

21

What are the findings of the James v DPP case?

It was held that for a number of incidents to constitute a course of conduct, they must be related in type and in context. Plainly the fewer incidents there are and the further in time they are apart, the less likely it will be that they can properly be treated as constituting a course of conduct. But it is all a question of fact.
But court interpreted the test broadly as including cases where the victim had a duty to contact the defendant.

22

What are the details of the Law Society v Kordowski Case?

The defendant was the founder, operator and publisher of the “Solicitors from Hell” website. Members of the public were invited, in return for a fee, to “name and shame” solicitors.

23

What are the findings of the Law Society v Kordowski Case?

It was held that publication of information about a person on a website could amount to a course of conduct.

24

What are the details of the Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd Case?

The claimant was victimised and bullied by the defendant, who was her manager at her place of work.

25

What are the findings of the Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd Case?

It was held that the treatment of the claimant in this case went beyond “unattractive” and “unreasonable” conduct (Lord Nicholl) or “the ordinary banter and badinage of life” (Baroness Hale).”

26

How did the case of Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd seemingly illustrate the flexible approach adopted by the courts?

It was said in this case, by the courts, that “[A]lthough it is doubtful whether the legislature had the workplace in mind when passing [the] Act ... there is nothing in the language of the Act which excludes workplace harassment'.

27

What condition or limitation was placed upon such findings in the case of Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd?

It was said in this case that - 'It should not be thought from this unusually one-sided case that stress at work will often give rise to liability for harassment. I have found the conduct in this case to be “oppressive and unacceptable” but I have done so in circumstances where I have also described it as “extraordinary”.”

28

Which section of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 provides for potential defences?

s1(3)

29

What does s1(3) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 provide?

(3) Subsection (1) [F4or (1A)] does not apply to a course of conduct if the person who pursued it shows —
(a) that it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime,
(b) that it was pursued under any enactment or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any enactment, or;
(c) that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.

30

Which two (previously mentioned) provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act 1998 give rise to the most judicial discretion?

s1(2) - a course of conduct will be harassment “if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment”.
s.1(3), which in addition to defences of lawful justification, states a defence of - “that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.”