Malice as an Ingredient of Tort Liability

Murphy, John Roger (2019) Malice as an Ingredient of Tort Liability. The Cambridge Law Journal, 78 (2). pp. 355-382. ISSN 0008-1973

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This article is concerned with the question of whether malice is an appropriate touchstone of liability in tort law. It begins by identifying four torts in which malice may properly be regarded as an ingredient of liability (distinguishing various other torts, such as private nuisance and defamation, in which malice plays a merely secondary and contingent role). Having identified these four torts – namely malicious prosecution, abuse of process, misfeasance in a public office and lawful means conspiracy – the article then seeks to identify a common juridical thread which links them together. So doing serves to rebut the allegation, often made in respect of all them, namely, that they are anomalous actions. It then concludes by considering the individual worth of these torts, bearing in mind the important difference between not being anomalous on the one hand, and being positively meritorious on the other. It concludes that a respectable defence of each of the four torts can be made even though malice is an atypical touchstone of liability.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
The Cambridge Law Journal
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, The Cambridge Law Journal, 78 (2), pp355-382 2019, © 2019 Cambridge University Press
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Deposited On:
15 Mar 2019 14:00
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:31