chapter  2
‘There are several good things in life, such as liberty, bodily integrity, land, possessions, reputation, wealth, privacy, dignity, perhaps even life itself. Lawyers call these goods “interests”. These interests are all good, but they are not all equally good. This is evident when they come into conflict (one may jettison cargo to save passengers, but not vice versa, and one may detain a thing, but not a person, as security for a debt). Because these interests are not equally good, the protection afforded to them by the law is not equal: the law protects the better interests better. Accordingly, the better the interest invaded, the more readily does the law give compensation for that harm. In other words, whether you get the money you claim depends on what you are claiming it for. It would be surprising if it were otherwise’ (Weir, A Casebook on Tort, 7th edn, 1992, Sweet & Maxwell, pp 4–5). Does English law protect bodily integrity better than it protects reputation? Is it easier for an employer to obtain compensation for financial loss caused by a uncaring workers going on strike than it is for a worker to obtain compensation for personal injury caused by an uncaring employer? 3 Compare Blackpool and Fylde (p 436) with X (Minors) (p 727). If the results of these two cases are compared in terms of values, does it mean that the law gives greater protection to commercial interests than to the interests of children? 4 Do s2(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, and s5(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 reflect values? (l) Appeal to policy
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Lord Denning MR:… At bottom I think the question of recovering economic loss is one of policy. Whenever the courts draw a line to mark out the bounds of duty, they do it as matter of policy so as to limit the responsibility of the defendant. Whenever the courts set bounds to the damages recoverablesaying that they are, or are not, too remote-they do it as matter of policy so as to limit the liability of the defendant.