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Torts Project Synopsis

Liability for dangerous premises

To introduce the topic of liability for dangerous premises,
the main topics and sub topics to be covered in this
-Who is an occupier
Explains the definition of occupiers according to the Occupier’s liability Act
alongwith the meaning of premises(with case laws).

Explains who are visitors according to the occupier’s liability act. Also
explains certain important features in the Act relating to visitors(with case

-Occupier’s Liability Acts

To briefly explain the basic concept of the two acts relating to occupier’s

-Duty of Occupier
Explains the duty of the occupier alongwith the relevant case laws.

-Liability to trespassers
Explains the provisions of the Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 in relation to
trespassers and the relevant case laws.

This explains the 3 defences which have been incorporated within the two
Occupier liability Acts.
The Act clearly covers both the duty and breach elements of negligence — ss 1(1), 1(2) and 2(1) all
deal with the occupier’s duty of care, and s 2(2) functions as a combined statement of duty and
standard of care. The examples in later subsections relate to the question whether the standard has
been met. However, the Act is not totally self-sufficient, since it refers particular questions back to
the common law: the common law determines on whom the duty is placed, and to whom it is
owed.63 There are no provisions about causation and remoteness of damage, and references to
defences such as assumption of risk64 and exclusion of liability65 also rely on the common law.
Because the Act provides that it has effect in place of the rules of the common law, it supplants the
common law of negligence in the area which it covers. However, its coverage is not complete. As
already mentioned, the original 1957 OLA, by being restricted to lawful visitors, left one important
class of entrant, namely trespassers, to be regulated by the common law, and it was only in 1984
that trespassers were brought within the statutory regime.66 The Act also contained some
restrictions as to damage covered. In addition to personal injury, the Act extended to the obligations
of the occupier in respect of damage to property, including the property of persons who were not
visitors.67 At common law, where a visitor brought someone else’s property onto the premises, it
was not clear whether the invitee and licensee categories extended to the non-entering owner, or
whether general negligence applied;68