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English case law

Dear Reader,

This morning I was reading about the case law on false imprisonment, and I noticed Sayers v Harlow Urban District Council a 1958 case about a woman who was trapped in a toilet by a defective door lock (missing handle). Here the argument is that a deliberate act is required for a person (natural or otherwise) to have committed the tort of false imprisonment . The case reminds me of a stupid song which I recall for my days at primary school

“Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Seven old ladies were locked in the lavatory”

Thankfully as children we only knew the first two lines of this dire song about ladies being trapped in the toilet. I recall as a child being shown by my father a book of case law on the subject of contract law, this was a yellow book which was a collection of court cases which relate to contract law. My favorite as a boy was Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. This was because as a boy I imagined a “smoke ball” to be some outlandish gadget which emits smoke and does strange things. It was nothing to do with the fact that this is the classic english case relates to promises made in adverts and a warrenty.


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