LAWS204-18W (C) Whole Year 2018

The Law of Torts

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2018
End Date: Sunday, 18 November 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 2 March 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 7 September 2018


General principles of civil liability. The law as to the various kinds of torts. The law relating to compensation for personal injury by accident in New Zealand.

The law of torts potentially concerns the entire range of misfortunes, injuries and losses which human beings can blame on one another.  It determines whether, or in what circumstances, a person who has caused harm to another is liable to compensate that other for the harm.  The course will provide a thorough grounding in the core principles of this key area of law.

A substantial part of the course will concentrate on the law of negligence.  It will deal with general principles and will focus in particular on such important issues as liability for nervous shock, for economic loss and for failing to act, and will consider issues of breach of duty, complex problems of proving causation and remoteness of damage.  The course will also cover various other torts.  These include trespass to land, nuisance, the rule in Rylands v Fletcher, defamation and interference with privacy.  

Torts claims in New Zealand are not much concerned with claims for personal injury, as these generally are barred by the Accident Compensation Act 2001.  The principles of the common law are subject to the Act, and accordingly the course will consider the ambit of the accident compensation scheme and the statutory benefits which are available in replacement of the common law action.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Timetable Note

Tutorials in LAW 204 will be held according to the timetable you will be given at the start of Term One.  Enrolment in Tutorials will be advised via email closer to the start of the course.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Stephen Todd


Ursula Cheer and Elizabeth Macpherson


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test 01 May 2018 25%
Essay 24 Aug 2018 10%
Tutorial Attendance 5%
Final Examination 60%

The assessment in this course may be by way of a test, compulsory essay and a final examination.

The assessment will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

S Todd; The law of torts in New Zealand ; 7th ed; Thomson Reuters, 2016.


This is a compulsory core course for the LLB degree.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,580.00

International fee $7,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Limited Entry Course

Maximum enrolment is 250

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS204 Occurrences

  • LAWS204-18W (C) Whole Year 2018