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University of Nairobi, School of Law

Bachelor of Laws, Second Year (Regular)

GPR 212: Law of Torts

Second Semester
Monday: 14:00 Hours 17:00
Friday: 14:00 Hours 17:00
Hours (to discuss with Class
and change as appropriate)

Instructor: Benjamin Musau

E-Mail: Ben@bmmusau.co.ke

Meaning and nature of tort; Tort and other forms of
liability; Specific torts; General conditions and types;
Intentional torts; Family torts Statutory torts; Customary
torts; Tortuous liability; Causation; Defenses; Immunities;
Remedies for breach; Types of tortuous liability; Vicarious
liability; Government liability for torts; Limitation of
actions in tort; Current issues on the law of tort in Kenya.
To expose the students to the existence of legal wrongs,
which are not necessarily accompanied by physical
damages and help students recognize civil wrongs, which
lead to an action at common law for unliquidated
Modes of Delivery
Lectures; Tutorials; Case Method; Seminar discussions;
Individual Student and Group Presentations; Problem
based learning
Instructional Materials and Equipment
Computers; Internet; Laws; Law Reports; Discussion Aids;
Chalk/white boards and necessary accompaniments;
Library; DVDs; Lexis-Nexis; HeinOnline; JSTOR

Weighting (%)

Core Reading Materials


W.V.H. Rogers (2006),

Winfield and Jolowicz on
Tort, 16thedition, Sweet
and Maxwell.
2. Solomon,
Chamberlain and Pitel,
Cases and Materials on
the Law of Torts, 7th ed.
(Carswell, 2009)
3. R.A.Buckley and R.F.V.
Heuston (1996), Salmond
and Heuston on the Law
of Torts, 21stedition,
Sweet and Maxwell.
4. John Murphy (2007),
University Press.
5. Jenny Steele (2007), Tort
Law: Text, Cases and
University Press.
Recommended Reference
Materials for decided Kenyan
Cases and Statutes: Kenya Law
Benjamin Musau

70 - Closed Book Examination
Continuous Assessment
30 Two Assignments @ 15 Marks each

See overleaf for additional
select resources
By the end of this Course,
students should be able to:
1. Understand the general
principles of tortuous liability
2. Understand the objective of
the law of tort
3. Distinguish and understand
the different types of heads of
4. Define the character of each
specific tort and cite its main
5. Understand and
differentiate the General
defenses and defenses
available to each specific
6. Apply torts law to different
legal contexts, such as motor
accident liability,
environmental pollution,
marine pollution, the
environment; liability for
premises, employers liability,
property and goods.

Select Resources


1. Civil Procedure Act, Chapter 21 of the Laws of Kenya
Benjamin Musau

2. Constitution of Kenya, 2010

3. Defamation Act, Chapter 36 of the Laws of Kenya
4. Evidence Act, Chapter 80 of the Laws of Kenya
5. Government Proceedings Act, Chapter 4 of the Laws of Kenya
6. Limitation of Actions Act, Chapter 22 of the Laws of Kenya
7. Occupiers Liability Act, Chapter 34 of the Laws of Kenya
8. Privileges and Immunities Act, Chapter 179 of the Laws of Kenya
9. Public Authorities Limitation Act, Chapter 39 of the Laws of Kenya

1. Achola & Another v Hongo & Another [2004] 1 KLR 462
2. Akilano Molade Akiwumi v Andrew Morton & Another [2005] eKLR
3. Alliance and Leicester Building Society v Edgestop Ltd [1994] 2 All ER 38, [1993] 1
WLR 1462
4. Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] AC 728, [1977] 2 All ER 492
5. Armory v Delamirie (1721) 1 Strange 505; 93 E.R. 664
6. Arthur J S Hall & Co v Simons [2000] 3 All ER 673, HL
7. Ashby v White (1703) 2 Ld Raym 938
8. Baker v Willoughby [1970] A. C. 467
9. Barnett v Chelsea and Kensington Hospital Management Committee [1969] 1 Q.
B. 428, [1968] 1 All ER 1068
10.Beard v London General Omnibus Co [1900] 2 Q B 530, CA
11.Bird v Jones (1845) 7 Queen's Bench Reports 742; 115 E R 668
12.Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co (1856) 11 Exch 781
13.Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 2 All ER 118
14.Bourhill v Young [1943] A. C. 92
15.Bradford Corporation v Pickles [1895] AC 587, HL
16.Burton v Islington Health Authority [1993] Q. B. 204
17.Caledonian Railway Co v Greenock Corporation [1917] AC 556, HL
18.Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather Co Plc [1994] A. C. 264
Benjamin Musau

19.Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990] 2 A. C. 605

20.Carslogie Steamship Co Ltd v Royal Norwegian Government [1952] A. C. 292
21.Carstairs v Taylor [1871] L. R. 217
22.Cassidy v Daily Mirror Newspapers Ltd [1929] K B 331 CA
23.Chatterton v Secretary of State for India [1895] 2 Q B 189
24.Cleghorn v Sadler [1945] K. B. 325
25.Cope v Sharpe [1912] 1 KB 496
26.Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile v Sogemin Metals Ltd [1997] 2 All ER 917
27.Crdit Lyonnais Bank Nederland NV (now known as Generale Bank Nederland NV)
v Export Credits Guarantee Department [1999] 1 All ER 929, [1999] 2 WLR 540, HL
28.D v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust [2005] UKHL 23
29.Dann v Hamilton [1939] 1 K B 509
30.Day v Brownrigg (1878) 10 Chancery Division 294
31.Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd [1993] AC 534, [1993] 1 All ER
1011, HL
32.Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562
33.Dulieu v White & Sons [1901] 2 KB 669
34.E Hulton & Co v Jones [1910] A C 20
35.Eastwood v Holmes (1858) 1 Foster and Finlason 347
36.Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd [2002] UKHL 22, [2003] 1 AC 32, [2002]
3 All ER 305
37.Fowler v Lanning [1959] Q. B. 426
38.Glasgow Corporation v Muir [1943] A. C. 448
39.Gloucester Grammar School Case (1410) YB 11 Hen 4
40.Habib Bank Ltd v Habib Bank AG Zurich [1981] 2 All ER 650
41.Hale v London Electricity Board [1965] A. C. 778
42.Hambrook v Stokes Bros [1925] 1 KB 141, CA
43.Harrison v Duke of Rutland [1893] 1 Q B 142
44.Haynes v Harwood [1935] 1 K. B. 146 CA
Benjamin Musau

45.Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465, [1963] 2 All ER 575,
46.Hellwig v Mitchell [1910] 1 K. B. 609
47.Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1989] A. C. 53
48.Hollins v Fowler [1874-75] L R 7 H L 757
49.Holmes v Wilson (1839) 10 Adolphus and Ellis 503; 113 E R 190
50.Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co Ltd [1970] AC 1004, [1970] 2 All ER 294
51.Huth v Huth [1915] 3 K. B. 32
52.Jobling v Associated Dairies Ltd [1982] A. C. 794
53.Johnson Evan Gicheru v Andrew Morton & Another [2005] eKLR
54.Jones v Stones [1999] 1 WLR 1739, CA
55.Kenya Ports Authority V East African Power & Lighting Company Ltd [1982] 1 KLR
(E&L) 82
56.Kerr v Kennedy [1942] K B 409
57.Kinyatti v Attorney General [1988] KLR 96
58.Knupffer v London Express Newspapers [1944] A C 116
59.Letang v Cooper [1965] Q. B. 232
60.Lewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd [1964] A. C. 234
61.Limpus v London General Omnibus Co (1862) 1 H & C 526, ExCh
62.McGhee v National Coal Board [1972] 3 All ER 1008, [1973] 1 WLR 1, HL
63.Medcalf v Mardell [2002] UKHL 27, [2003] 1 A. C. 120, [2002] 3 All ER 721
64.Mogul Steamship Co Ltd v McGregor, Gow & Co (1889) 23 Q B D 598
65.Monson v Tussauds Ltd [1894] 1 Q. B. 671
66.Morgan v Odhams Pres Ltd [1971] 1 W L R 1239
67.Mount Carmel Investments Ltd v Thurlow Ltd [1988] 1 W L R 1078
68.Newstead v London Express Newspaper Limited [1940] 1 K B 377
69.Newton v Edgerley [1959] 3 All ER 337, [1959] 1 WLR 1031
70.Nichols v Marsland [1876] 2 Ex. Div. 1
71.Nyali v Attorney General [1957] A C 253
Benjamin Musau

72.Ocean Estates Ltd v Pinder [19697] P C 19

73.Ochieng & 8 Others v Standard Limited [2004] 1 KLR 225
74.Parmiter v Coupland and Another (1840) 6 Meeson and Welsby 105
75.Peter Wambugu Kariuki v Justus Weru Ngaruchi & 2 Others High Court Civil Case
No 513 of 1999
76.Peters v Prince of Wales Theatre (Birmingham) Ltd [1943] K. B. 73
77.Pickering v Rudd [1815] E R 400
78.Ponting v Noakes [1894] 2 QB 281
79.Read v Lyons [1947] A. C. 156
80.Rickards v Lothian [1913] A. C. 263
81.Roberts v Ramsbottom [1980] 1 All ER 7
82.Robson v Hallett [1967] 2 Q B 939
83.Rondel v Worsley [1969] 1 AC 191
84.Rose v Plenty [1976] 1 All ER 97, [1976] 1 WLR 141, CA
85.Rylands v Fletcher (1868) L R 3 HL 330
86.Shaw v Applegate [1978] 1 All ER 123
87.Simmons v Mitchell [1880] J. C. 156
88.Smith v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd [1987] AC 241
89.Stovin v Wise (Norfolk County Council, third party) [1996] AC 923, [1996] 3 All ER
801, HL
90.The Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg v Harmer [1849] 14 Q. B. 185
91.The Wagon Mound (No 2) [1967] 1 AC 617 at 642, [1966] 2 All ER 709
92.Theaker v Richardson [1962] 1 W. L. R. 151
93.Tolley v Fry & Sons [1931] A. C. 333
94.Transco Plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council [2003] UKHL 61
95.Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Police [2008] 3 All ER 977
96.Vaughan v Taff Vale Rly Co (1860) 5 H & N 679
97.Videan v British Transport Commission [1963] 2 Q. B. 650, [1963] 2 All ER 860, CA
98.Wandsworth London Borough Council v Railtrack pic [2002] QB 756
Benjamin Musau

99.Wilkinson v Dowton [1897] 2 Q B 57


Wilson v Donaldson [2004] EWCA Civ 972


Wilson v Lombank Ltd [1963] 1 W. L. R. 1294


X v Bedfordshire County Council [1995] 2 AC 633, [1995] 3 All ER 353, HL


1. Negligence
(a) Introduction
(b) Elements of Negligence
(c) Duty of Care
(i) General
(1) Introduction to the Duty of Care
(2) Classical Neighbour Principle
(3) Donogue v. Stevenson
(4) Evolution to Modern Duty of Care
(5) Foreseeable Risk
(6) Foreseeable Plaintiff
(ii) Special Duties of Care
(1) Duties of Affirmative Action
Benjamin Musau

(d) Standard of Care

(i) Reasonable person test
(ii) Special Standards of Care
(1) Likelihood of exceptional risk
(2) In relation to children
(3) Profession of special skill
(4) Importance of objective to be achieved
(5) Burden of taking precautions against risk
(6) The Three-Stage Test:
(a) Foreseeability
(b) Proximity
(c) Fair, just and reasonable
(7) Degrees of Negligence
(e) Causation and Remoteness of Damage
(f) The but for test
(g) Multiple causes
(h) Loss of chance
(i) Multiple successive causes
Novus actus interveniens
(ii) Remoteness of damage
(j) The thin skull rule
(k) Res ipsa loquitur
(l) Nervous Shock

Negligent Misstatements

2. Defenses
(a) Volenti non fit injuria
(b) Agreement
(c) Knowledge
(d) Voluntariness
(e) Rescue cases
(f) Ex turpi cause
(g) Contributory negligence
(i) The common law approach
(ii) The statutory regime
(iii) Fault of the claimant
(iv) Causation
(v) Apportionment
Benjamin Musau

(h) Inevitable accident

3. Damages
(a) Personal Injury
(b) Survivor and Dependent Claims
(c) Property Loss
(d) Collateral Benefits
4. Special Categories of Negligence
(a) Negligence of Public Authorities
(b) Misfeasance in Public Office
(c) Negligent Misrepresentation
5. Intentional Torts
(a) Intention and Related Concepts
(b) Trespass to the Person
(c) Battery
(d) Assault
(e) False Imprisonment
(f) Intentional Interference with the Person
(i) Malicious prosecution
(ii) Intentional Infliction of Nervous Shock
(iii) Inorminate Intentional Torts
(iv) Privacy and Breach of Confidence
(v) Discrimination
(g) Defenses: Trespass to the Person
(h) Consent
(i) Ex turpi cause
(j) Self Defense
(k) Defense of Third Party
(l) Intentional Interference with Chattels
Trespass to Chattels
(n) Conversion
(o) Defenses
(p) Trespass to Land
Benjamin Musau

(q) Trespass to Land

(r) Defenses
6. Nuisance
(a) Introduction
(i) Public and private nuisance
(ii) Nuisance to servitudes
(b) Reasonableness
(i) Extent of harm and the nature of the locality
(ii) Utility of the Defendants conduct
(iii) Abnormal sensitivity
(iv) Limits to protection
(v) Temporary injury
(vi) Malice
(c) Locus Standi
(i) Private nuisance
(ii) Public nuisance
(d) Who can be sued
(i) Author of the nuisance
(ii) Occupier
(iii) Landlord
(iv) Damage
(v) Defenses
(1) Coming to nuisance no defense
(2) Usefulness in itself no defense
(3) Jus Tertii
(4) Statutory Authority
(vi) Highways
(vii) Actionable obstructions
(viii) Access to and from highway
(ix)Damage on the highway from adjoining property
(x) Condition on the highway

7. Defamation

Benjamin Musau


(a) Introduction
(i) Function of the law of defamation
(ii) Meaning of defamatory statement
(iii) Falsity and Malice
(iv) Libel and slander
(1) distinctions
(2) effects of distinction
(v) When damage must be proved
(vi) Slander actionable per se
(b) Founding a cause of action in defamation
(i) Publication
(1) Single publication
(2) Repetition of a defamatory publication
(3) Unauthorized snooping and other unforeseeable publication
(ii) Reference to Plaintiff
(1) Direct reference
(2) Reference to a group
(iii) Defamatory Meaning
(1) Right thinking members of society
(2) Natural meaning
(3) Innuendo
(c) Defamation of certain categories of persons
(i) Deceased persons
(ii) Corporations
(iii) Foreign princes and dignitaries
(iv) Local authorities and public agencies
(v) Slander of title to goods and malicious falsehood
(d) Defenses to a Defamation Action
(e) Consent/Assent (Express, implied)
(f) Truth/justification
(g) Privilege (Absolute, Qualified)
(h) Fair Comment on a matter of public interest
(i) Offer of Amends
(j) Innocent Dissemination
(i) Apology and Payment into Court

Benjamin Musau


(k) Remedies for Defamation

(i) Damages
(1) Nominal
(2) Compensatory
(3) Aggravated
(4) Exemplary
(ii) Apology
(iii) Injunction
(1) Mandatory
(2) Prohibitory
(3) Anticipatory

8. Strict and Vicarious Liability

(a) The Rule in Rylands vs Fletcher
(i) Genesis and nature of the principle
(ii) Elements of the Cause of Action
(1) Dangerous things
(2) Escape
(3) Land
(4) Injury
(5) Non-natural user
(b) Vicarious Liability
(i) Master and Servant
(ii) Employer and Independent Contractor
(iii) Employer and Agent
(iv) Defenses to the Rule in Rylands v Fletcher
(1) Consent
(2) Common benefit
(3) Act of God
(4) Act of stranger
(5) Statutory authority
(6) Default of the Defendant
(v) Remoteness of damage
(c) Liability for Animals
(i) Liability for dangerous animals
(1) Animals belonging to a dangerous species
(2) Other animals
(ii) Defenses
(iii) Liability for straying livestock
Benjamin Musau


(iv) Defenses to strict liability for staying livestock

(v) Detention and sale of straying livestock
9. Joint Tortfeasors and Vicarious Liability
(a) Nature and basis of vicarious liability
(b) Contract of service relationship
(c) Scope of employment
(i) Carelessness of servant
(ii) Mistake of servant
(iii) Wilful wrong of servant
(iv) Theft by servant
(v) Damage to goods bailed
(vi) Fraud of Servant
(d) Indemnity of employer
(e) Employer and Independent contractor

Benjamin Musau