Volenti non fit injuria & Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas

 Volenti non fit injuria

  1. The meaning of the above principle is “that to which a man consents cannot be considered an injury”. No act is actionable as a tort at the suit of any person who has expressly or impliedly assented to it; no one can enforce a right which he has voluntarily waived or abandoned.
  2. The maximum applies to: (1) intentional acts which would otherwise be tortuous; e.g., taking part in a boxing match; (2) running the risk of accidental harm which would otherwise be actionable as negligence; e.g., watching motor racing (Hall v. Brooklands Auto-racing Club [1933] 1 K.B. 205).

Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas

Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas. So use your own as not to injure another's property. 1 Bl. Com. 306; Broom's max. 160; 4 McCord, 472; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2379.

  1. Injure non remota causa sed proxima spectator

Injure non remota causa sed proxima spectator means that the direct cause or reason, not the remote cause of an act or omission should be considered.

  1. Causa Causans and Causa Sine Qua non

Causa causans means an immediate or effective or primary cause. Causa sine qua non means the necessary cause; the cause without which the thing cannot be or the event would not have occurred. The principles mainly relates to negligence, nuisance, defamation or trespass.

 Example- “A” pushes “B” and “B” fell on earth and got injured. Here the pushing made by “A” is causa causans and injure caused to “B” is causa sine qua non.

. Re polemis principle

 This principle derived from a case decision popularly known as Re Polemis and Furness Withy & Co. (1921) 3 K B 560.

 Fact: The fact of the case in brief is that the defendant took lease of a vessel. They were carrying petrol inside cane and tin pot through the vessel. On their way, smoke engulfed the ship, arising out from leakage of tin pot carrying petrol. In a near port the vessel unloading goods with the help of the defendant’s workers/employee. In the course of their action, a piece of wood came near the petrol and fire broke out. The fire engulfed the whole ship and threw it into dust.

 Decision: The Appellate Court found the defendant responsible. The Privy Council upheld the judgement. Lord J Atkin followed the principle in Hambrook vs Strokes-1925 1 K B 141.It was held that the lease holder shall pay compensation to the owner of the vessel.

Ubi jus ibi remedium

The Law of Tort is based on the maxim. It means ‘where there is a right, there is a remedy’ i.e. ‘there is no wrong without a remedy’. It must not include all the moral or political wrong. The term ‘jus’ in the maxim means a legal right i.e. a right which is recognized by the law, and for the protection of which it exists.

Damnum sine inrijua (damage without injury)

It means damage without infringement of a legal right. “There are many acts which though harmful are not wrongful, and give no right of action to him who suffers their effects” (Salmond). “The mere fact that a man is injured by another’s act gives in itself no cause of action; if the act I deliberate, the party injured will have no claim in law even though the injury is intentional, so long as the other party is exercising a legal right.”

Damage without injury affords no remedy in the Law of torts. Damage which is too trivial or indefinite for effective legal recognition is not actionable. Criminal prosecution is not actionable in tort.

“The exercise of one’s own common or ordinary rights within reasonable limits does not ground an action in tort merely because it causes damage to another.” Some case decisions in the below:

  • Gloucester Grammar School Case-1410; Y B Hill 11 Hen, 4 of 47, p 21,36
  • Chasemore vs. Richards-1859; 7, H C L 349
  • Moghul Steamship Co. vs. McGregor Gow and Co-1892, AC 25;
  • Action vs. Blundell-1848 12 M & W 324;
  • Mayor of Bradford vs. Pickles-1895, A C 587;
  • Dickson vs. Reuter’s Telegram Co.-1877, 3 CPD;
  • Town area committee vs. Prabhu Dayal-1975, AIR,All 132 at 134;
  • Visnu Datt vs. Board of H S & Intermediate Education, U P-1981, AIR;
  • Ushaban vs. Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir-1978, AIR, Guj-13.

Injuria sine Damno (Injury without damage)

The maxim means violation of a legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage to the plaintiff. From this point of view there are two kinds of torts:

  • Torts which are actionable per se i.e. actionable without proof of any damage or loss e.g. trespass. These types of rights are known as absolute right.
  • Torts which are actionable only on the proof of some damage caused by an act. These types of rights are not qualified rights.
  • According to this maxim, in an action for slanderous words, though a man does not lose a penny by reason of speaking them, yet he shall have an action. Again, a man shall have an action against another for riding over his ground, though it does him no damage; for it is an invasion of his property, and the other has no right to come here.

Case Studies

  • Ashby vs White-1703, 2 Lord Raym, 938;
  • Maryet vs Williams- 1830, 1.B & Ad. 415;
  • Bhimsing vs State of J & K-1986, AIR S C 494;

Exturpi causa non oritur actio

Res ipsa loquitur is a legal term from the Latin meaning, "the thing itself speaks" but is more often translated "the thing speaks for itself."Under the old common law rule, to use res ipsa loquitur in the context of negligence the plaintiff must prove that:

  1. The harm would not ordinarily have occurred without someone's negligence
  2. The "thing" which caused the harm was under the exclusive control of the defendant at the time of the likely negligent act
  3. There must be an absence of a reasonable explanation as to how the harm occurred.

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