Tort Law Defences
Additional Publication Information
In morality, a person who is accused of committing a wrong may be able to offer an answer to the allegation made against him. Answers to allegations of wrongdoing can have a bearing on one's moral responsibility. Analogous remarks can be made about the law of torts. A defendant whose conduct falls within the definition of a tort may be able to offer a defence. If accepted, the defence will have a bearing on his responsibility within the law of torts. Defences are the subject of this book. Its concern is not, for the most part, to identify the rationales for specific defences (or lack thereof). Neither is it to determine when individual defences are enlivened (or should be enlivened). These are matters of significant importance about which a great deal could be usefully said. But they are not the agenda of this book. Rather, the overarching aims of this book are to explain how defences operate as a system and to learn how they are woven into the tapestry that is tort law. Although defences are an important part of tort law (there are numerous defences available to every tort) and have existed since its inception, an analysis of this kind- a systematic study of the law of defences as an independent field- has never before been undertaken. This introductory chapter lays the foundations of the argument that follows.