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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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The Unlawful Means Tort 1

The Unlawful Means Tort 1

(p.73) 4 The Unlawful Means Tort1
An Analysis of the Economic Torts

Hazel Carty

Oxford University Press

Although the existence of this tort is implicit in the discussion in Allen v Flood, it has only received its first real analysis in OBG. This chapter maps the history of the tort and its relationship to the tort of inducing breach of contract (the unlawful means tort involving stand-alone, primary liability). It explores its key ingredients: intention and unlawful means. As is revealed, uncertainties remain post-OBG given the orthodox definition of intention for this tort is apparently rejected, and given Lord Hoffmann (speaking for the majority) and Lord Nicholls disagreed on the definition of ‘unlawful means’. The implications for the future of this tort are then debated, centred on a discussion of the possible polices that could shape the definition of unlawful means. In addition, this tort is distinguished from an obscure principle of equity that originates from the decision in Springhead Spinning v Riley.

Keywords:   unlawful means tort, primary liability, intention, unlawful means, Springhead Spinning v Riley, breach of contract, Allen v Flood

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