The modern law of torts is dominated by decisions of the House of Lords. In other areas of private law this is not so. Within contract law, for example, the leading cases are frequently those of the Court of Appeal or even first instance judges. Another feature of the law of torts is how many of the leading cases are relatively recent. Again, this hyperactivity in modern times is not the case in other areas, notably the law of contract where many of the leading cases are relatively old. Although the foundations of the law of torts are ancient, the building we currently live in is of very recent construction. It is perhaps unsurprising therefore that the large number of cases over a relatively short period of time has caused the law of torts to be perceived as a ‘mess’. This chapter presents an overview of the cases which the House of Lords has decided in this area.
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