By Gilbe Kodilinye, Gilbert Kodilinye
This article is designed to provide legislation scholars within the Caribbean a uncomplicated textual content on torts, observed via extracts from West Indian instances and an important statutory provisions. Emphasis is put on these subject matters most ordinarily litigated within the West Indies - negligence, nuisance, defamation, trespass to the individual, employers' legal responsibility and passing off. even though basically conceived as a textual content for college kids interpreting for the LLB measure within the West Indies, practitioners should still locate the ebook priceless within the approach within which it brings to gentle many hitherto unreported decisions.
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Extra info for Commonwealth Caribbean Tort Law: Text, Cases & Materials
Under this rule, the victim of an aggravated assault, for example, cannot sue his assailant in tort unless and until the latter has been prosecuted. In Hibbert v AG (1988) Supreme Court, Jamaica, No CL H-187 of 1982 (unreported), Gordon J held that the production of a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, indicating that no criminal prosecution for assault was advised, satisfied the rule in Smith v Selwyn. In Buckle v Dunkley (1966) Court of Appeal, Jamaica, Civ App No 29 of 1965 (unreported), it was held that, if the victim of an alleged felony reports the facts to the police and the latter decide not to prosecute, the victim is entitled to go ahead with his civil action, since he will have taken all the steps that the law requires him to take to procure the prosecution of the alleged offender.
The effect in such cases is that the civil and criminal remedies are not alternative but concurrent, each being independent of the other. The wrongdoer may be punished by imprisonment or fine, and he may also be compelled in a civil action for tort to pay damages to the injured person by way of compensation. 4 Finally, an important distinction between tort and crime is that, to succeed in a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove its case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, whereas in an action in tort, the plaintiff is merely required to establish his claim ‘on a balance of probabilities’.
2 Because of this common historical origin, today the ingredients of the torts are virtually identical to those of the crimes. There are, in addition, several examples of conduct which are both criminal and tortious. For instance, if A steals B’s bicycle, he will be 1 2 McKendrick, LLB Tort Textbook, 5th edn, Sydney: HLT, p 2. Fifoot, History and Sources of the Common Law, 1949, London: Stevens, p 45. 2 Introduction guilty of the crime of theft (or larceny); at the same time, A will be liable to B for the tort of conversion.