Notes and questions 1 As a result of the pure economic loss principle in the tort of negligence, many unthinking students state that the law of tort does not protect against economic loss. This is nonsense. In addition to misrepresentation cases, which usually lead to economic loss, there are the economic torts which have been fashioned to deal with the problem of strife in the world of business and industrial relations. The main question that the economic torts (inducing breach of contract, intimidation and conspiracy) seek to provide an answer to is this. When will D be liable for deliberately causing economic loss to P? Now, it might be tempting to say that all deliberately caused loss should be actionable, but this would clash with the ethics of capitalism where competition—that is, deliberately causing loss to another since one person’s profit is another person’s loss—is fundamental. 2 If one has the right to open a supermarket, even if it ruins all the other local food shops, does one have the right deliberately to ruin all the local food shops by opening a supermarket? The common law said yes, providing that no wrong was involved (Mogul SS Co v McGregor, Gow and Co [1892] AC 25). But what is meant by ‘wrong’ in this context, given that, according to Bradford v Pickles (above, p 222), malice in itself is not a wrong? The tort of inducing breach of contract was the major starting point. Is there now a tort of economic duress? (Cf Dimskal Shipping Co v ITWF [1992] 2 AC 152.) 3 Do traders have a right to trade free from deliberate interference by others? Do trade unions have any rights at common law? 4 D writes an article urging his readers not to buy goods from P’s shop because P makes financial contributions to a political party of which D does not approve. Can P sue D for his economic losses? What if D urges people to demonstrate on the pavement outside P’s shop? 5 Is there a right to strike in the English common law? 6 Is a contractual right a property right as far as the English law of tort is concerned? 7 Research the economic torts in the library. What role has the interlocutory injunction played in the development of the economic torts? Which are the most useful concepts in the area of economic torts: (a) rights; (b) duties; (c) wrongs; (d) directness; (e) intention; (f) interests; (g) property? (d) Malicious prosecution
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Lord Keith of Kinkel: My Lords, the background to the proceedings which give rise to this appeal is a long history of mutual antagonism between neighbours. The appellant plaintiff, Mr Martin, and the respondent defendant,

Mrs Watson, lived next door to each other in Orpington. The garden of each dwelling abutted on that of the other. Relations between the parties and their respective spouses were acrimonious for many years, for reasons which need not be gone into. Eventually the defendant began to make accusations that the plaintiff had indecently exposed himself to her… [T]he plaintiff was arrested and taken to the police station, where he was interviewed and bailed to attend court the next day upon a charge related to the events of 20 July 1989. He duly did so, but the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and he was discharged.