chapter  17
4 Pages

TRESPASS TO GOODS

From the earliest days of the common law a number of torts were developed specifically to protect interests in goods in a similar way to those torts which developed to protect interests in land. However, by the 1970s, it had become clear that the torts relating to goods were badly in need of reform and, in 1977, the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act was passed in an attempt to clarify the law. Although this statute did introduce radical changes, it was not sufficiently comprehensive to remove all of the difficulties and there are some areas of ambiguity. Many of the common law rules still apply and the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 must be read in the light of these. For example, the defences applicable to other forms of trespass still apply to trespass to goods, alongside the defences supplied by the 1977 Act and by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This chapter contains a very brief summary of this complex area of law, which is dealt with in much greater detail by other authors in the context of the law relating to goods more generally.