LAW 498 Law of Torts II Assignment Example UITM Malaysia

In this course, we will discuss the elements of a tort and defenses to liability for torts. A tort is an obligation or responsibility imposed by law that has been violated. The most common type of tort is a civil wrong which means it’s not a criminal offense but rather a private injury to another person. In general, there are two types of torts: intentional and unintentional. An intentional tort involves conduct that was intended to cause harm while an unintentional one does not involve intent but still results in harm or damage. If you have been injured through negligence, this would be considered an unintentional tort because the individual did not intend on hurting you when they acted carelessly so long as it can be shown that their negligent conduct led directly to your injury.

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There are a number of defenses that can be used to try and avoid liability for torts. The most common is contributory negligence, which means that the injured person was also negligent in some way and contributed to their own injury. This defense is often successful when the injured person was partially at fault for the incident. Other defenses include an assumption of risk, which means the injured person knew of and accepted the risks involved in whatever activity caused their injury, and comparative negligence, which compares the fault of the injured person to that of the defendant to determine liability.

LAW 498 Law of Torts II Assignment Solutions For Malaysian Scholars

These are the questions that can be asked in LAW 498 Law of Torts II Assignment. By the end of this course, Malaysian students will be able to answer the following questions.

Assignment Activity 1: Discuss the difference between libel and slander, and When does defamation of character occur, according to common law

Libel is a medium for causing defamation or harm to a person’s reputation. Slander is oral defamation, which includes words that are spoken to others and overheard by a third person.

The key difference between libel and slander is not the form but the intent – libelous statements must be published to be considered “libel entails publishing something harmful” whereas slander refers only to spoken words intended as harmful. In order for an accuser’s statement constituting alleged slander or libel to qualify as actionable under state law, it must disseminate falsehoods injurious about another, expose another publicly in a demeaning manner through past enmities, misgivings or indiscretions not common knowledge of one party’s peers or the public, or impute a lack of chastity to a woman.

Libel and slander are both torts, which are civil wrongs that can be the basis for a lawsuit. The person who sues is called the plaintiff, while the person who is sued is called the defendant. To win a libel or slander case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant published a false and defamatory statement about the plaintiff.

It is a violation of civil law, not criminal. Defamation of character is a communication that lowers someone’s reputation. In some instances it can be on the basis of race, age, country of origin or on religious beliefs for example. Defamation has evolved from being a privilege to being an offence in today’s society with the exception that journalists have protection from prosecution when they are doing their jobs and can usually show “good faith” efforts in reporting the news to the public good.

Assignment Activity 2: Discuss the duty of Occupier towards contractual entrants, invitee,  licensee, trespasser

The Duty of the Occupier to invitee, licensee, and trespasser are governed by the Premises Liability Act or Premises Law.

Obligations are determined based on what classification the party is considered. For example, it would be considered an invitee if they are invited onto the premises with some uncertainty as to what could happen while visiting said premises. A licensee is someone that has been given permission onto the property without being asked for that permission first. And lastly a trespasser would be someone who’s entering privately owned property against their will without being told about it beforehand.

The duties depend on which party you’re dealing with so there general guidelines instead of hard set rules can be found here.

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When discussing duty, occupier has a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the premises are safe for anyone who is lawfully on the property. This includes making sure that there are no hidden dangers, and fixing any potential hazards as soon as possible.

Occupier also has a duty to warn people of any dangers that may not be visible. They must provide the proper warning signs so that any person entering onto the premises can be aware of hazards and potentially harmful conditions.

Occupiers also need to take precautionary steps upon discovering a trespasser or uninvited person on their property. They must be able to conduct themselves as if they were an expected visitor and provide security measures such as locked gates, fences, and security personnel.

Assignment Activity 3: Explain the elements of a public or private nuisance

There are three essential elements to a public or private nuisance: (1) an invasion of a protected interest; (2) that is unreasonable; and (3) which the defendant knew, or should have known. An invasion of a protected interest can be either physical or economic. For example, a public nuisance could be a factory that emits so much smoke that it envelopes the residential section of a city in smog, or a private nuisance could be a new nightclub opening up next door to a daycare center. Public and private nuisances are judged using the reasonableness standard. This means that, even if an invasion occurred and was unreasonable, a public or private nuisance has not occurred if the defendant can prove that it was reasonable. Finally, for a public or private nuisance to have occurred defendants must know, or should have known, that their actions are causing an invasion of a protected interest. This is based on the idea that an individual does not have any obligation to ensure the safety of society in general.

Assignment Activity 4: What does the vicarious liability test indicate about an employer and employee relationship

A vicarious liability test indicates employer and employee relations is that even though a company hires someone to do a job, it does not have the same considerations as an employer. The company might have to compensate for any accidents or injuries but it is inherently less vulnerable than an individual in this regard because the potential losses are covered by insurance. Establishing vicarious liability in labor law can be difficult so employers need to update their policies with protections for workers when creating jobs, outlining responsibilities of both parties in comprehensive terms with clarity and establishing limits on responsibility where they are necessary. 

While the test indicates employer and employee relations, even though a company hires someone to do a job, it does not have the same considerations as an employer. The company might have to compensate for any accidents or injuries but it is inherently less vulnerable than an individual in this regard because the potential losses are covered by insurance. Establishing vicarious liability in labor law can be difficult so employers need to update their policies with protections for workers when creating jobs, outlining responsibilities of both parties in comprehensive terms with clarity and establishing limits on responsibility where they are necessary.

Assignment Activity 5: What are the defenses to a claim under Rylands v Fletcher 

Rylands v. Fletcher is an English personal injury tort, which deem the “natural elements” of a landowner’s property liable for injury to those who happen to be on that land. For example, if you fall after slipping on some wet concrete property belonging to someone else, they may be liable under this law for your injuries caused by their negligence (i.e. not making it safe).

The defences are as follows: the defendant must not have undertaken any special knowledge of dangerous state; there had been no prior notice of defect by user or occupier; there had been no recent activity that might reasonably warned user or occupier; claimants knew or should have known (however carelessly) about danger and failed to take reasonable precautions against it.

Rylands v. Fletcher has been criticized for being too vague and all-encompassing, as well as for being difficult to apply in practice. It has also been suggested that the law should only be invoked where there is a significant risk of harm, rather than any potential danger. Despite these criticisms, Rylands v. Fletcher remains an important and well-recognized tort.

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