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An Analysis of the Economic Torts$
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Hazel Carty

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546749.001.0001

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Preliminary Discussion of the General Economic Torts

Preliminary Discussion of the General Economic Torts

(p.17) 2 Preliminary Discussion of the General Economic Torts
An Analysis of the Economic Torts

Hazel Carty

Oxford University Press

The recent House of Lords' decisions in OBG v Allan and Total Network SL v Revenue and Customs Commissioners, reveal the conflict of policy within the highest court and are subjected to a preliminary discussion in this chapter. In Allen v Flood, the House of Lords adopted the abstentionist agenda for the general economic torts: even where intentional and unjustified economic harm was inflicted, liability would only follow where unlawful means where used. And a two-tort analysis of economic tort liability was offered, based on the indirect infliction of economic harm in a three-party setting. Subsequently these torts got into an incoherent mess but in OBG the House of Lords appeared to herald a return to a narrow application as envisaged in Allen. Unfortunately, within eighteen months the House of Lords in Total Network appeared to shift these torts from the abstentionist to interventionist track, resulting in further mess.

Keywords:   OBG v Allan, Total Network SL v Revenue, abstentionist agenda, interventionist agenda, three-party setting

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