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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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Inducing Breach of Contract

Inducing Breach of Contract

(p.30) 3 Inducing Breach of Contract
An Analysis of the Economic Torts

Hazel Carty

Oxford University Press

The classic form of this tort, as featured in Lumley v Gye, involves the defendant persuading the claimant's contract partner to contract breach. Subsequently courts accepted varieties of this tort, some of which focused not on inducement but prevention and one of which focused on interference rather than inducement. This uncertain ambit resulted from the failure to identify the other major general economic tort namely the unlawful means tort. OBG re-asserts the classic scope of this tort, rejecting the modern varieties (most of which would now be covered by the unlawful means tort) and restricting liability to those claimants who have actual knowledge of the contract which they seek to persuade the claimant's partner to breach. This chapter explores the development of this tort, its relationship to the unlawful means tort and its analysis in OBG as a tort of secondary or accessory civil liability.

Keywords:   breach of contract, Lumley v Gye, contract partner, interference, unlawful means tort, secondary civil liability, accessory civil liability

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