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Durham e-Theses
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The rule in Rylands v Fletcher

Lascelles, D.E. (1973) The rule in Rylands v Fletcher. Unspecified thesis, Durham University.



The thesis will commence with a brief study of the historical1background to the rule in Rylands v Fletcher (^1) with a view to considering the extent to which Blackburn J.'s statement of the rule was the exposition of a completely new principle of law. A detailed examination will be then made of the various component parts of the rule with chapters discussing the need for an escape, whether there is liability for personal injury and the concepts of non-natural user and dangerous object. Liability for the escape of fire will also be considered. Having clarified the precise nature and scope of the tort we will then consider to what degree the general claim that the tort is one of strict liability is justifiable. An important aspect of this part of the thesis will be the consideration of the effect which the five defences to the tort and the need for there to be a non-natural user of land have on the strictness of liability. Notice will also be taken of the fact that doubts about the strictness of liability in Rylands v Fletcher together with the modern tendency of the tort of negligence to form its basis of liability more on a concept of risk than of fault means that we are moving towards an equation of the two torts. Finally we must look to the future and consider the direction in which the tort may go. Will the gap between negligence and Rylands v Fletcher diminish further until the technicalities surrounding Rylands v Fletcher result in its disappearance as a separate entity into a wider principle of negligence or will some completely new system of compensation for personal injury supersede all the present rules and make both negligence and Rylands v Fletcher redundant?

Item Type:Thesis (Unspecified)
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:06

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