The Defence of Illegality in Tort Law: Wither the Rule in Pitts v Hunt?

James Goudkamp, ‘The Defence of Illegality in Tort Law: Wither the Rule in Pitts v Hunt?’ (2012) 71 Cambridge Law Journal pp.481–484.

5 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2016 Last revised: 27 Mar 2016

See all articles by James Goudkamp

James Goudkamp

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

There are at least four types of actions in tort to which the defence of illegality might be relevant. First, there are cases in which the loss about which the claimant complains is a criminal law sanction imposed upon him (e.g., Clunis v Camden and Islington HA [1998] Q.B. 978). Secondly, there are actions in which the claimant seeks redress in respect of lost illegal earnings (e.g., Hewison v Meridian Shipping Pte Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 1821, [2003] I.C.R. 766). Thirdly, there are proceedings in which the claimant, when he was injured, was committing a criminal offence unilaterally, that is, an offence in which the defendant was not implicated (e.g., Vellino v CC of Greater Manchester [2001] EWCA Civ 1249, [2002] 1 W.L.R. 218). Lastly, and most importantly as a practical matter, there are cases in which the parties were engaged in a joint illegal enterprise when the claimant was hurt.

Keywords: tort, negligence, defences, illegality

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Goudkamp, James, The Defence of Illegality in Tort Law: Wither the Rule in Pitts v Hunt? (2012). James Goudkamp, ‘The Defence of Illegality in Tort Law: Wither the Rule in Pitts v Hunt?’ (2012) 71 Cambridge Law Journal pp.481–484. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2737633

James Goudkamp (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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