If someone sues one person claiming that the other person has violated the rights of his and has committed a tort, then certain defenses could be taken. The extent to which they apply against different torts, may, however, differ. Some of the defenses which can be used in torts are:
- Defence of consent
- Plaintiff, the wrongdoer
- Inevitable accident
- Act of God
- Private Defence
- Statutory Authority
1. Defence of Consent:
It is popularly known as volenti non fit injuria. When a person consents to any harm that may be cause to him by defendant’s act, then the defendant cannot be made liable.
2. Statutory Authority:
If the act done was under the authority of some statute that is a valid defense. For example, if there is a railway line near your house and the noises of the train passing disturbs then you have no remedy because the construction and the use of the railway is authorized under a statute. However, this does not give the authorities the license to do what they want unnecessarily; they must act in a reasonable manner.
3. Act of God:
This defense is similar to the defense of inevitable accident according to me. The only difference is that in the defense of Act of God the accident happens to occur because of unforeseen natural event. The requirements which are to be satisfied are (a) the injury must be caused by the effect of natural forces, (b) the natural forces must be unforeseen, or the effects must be unavoidable. So even if a natural event like a storm is taking place, if one can take precautions and avoid the damage, the defense cannot be used.
Mistake is not usually a defense in tort law. It’s not good enough to say that you didn’t know you were doing something wrong. This defense can be used in case of malicious prosecution. In malicious prosecution it must be shown that the prosecution was acting with malice.