Explain four defenses which may be offered by a defendant to an action for trespass to the person

  • Volenti non fit injuria: This is the defense of voluntary assumption of risk applicable in circumstances in which the plaintiff has consented to the act which causes the harm.
  • Defense of the person: the defendant may rely on this defense if the committed the trespass while defending his person from a threatened invasion. The defense is sustainable only if the force used is proportional to the threat.
  • Defense of property: this defense is available to a defendant who commits trespass while defending his property provided the force used is proportional to the threat.
  • Inevitable Accident: the defendant may rely on this defense if the trespass to the plaintiff was accidental and no reasonable step could have been taken to prevent the same.
  • Mistake: a defendant can rely on this defense if the trespass was committed to the wrong person and the defendant had reasonable ground to believe that the plaintiff was the party concerned.



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