19 Jan



This tort aims at protecting the bodily integrity of the plaintiff and his right to be left alone.

Battery is the intentional[1] application of force to another without his consent[2]. For example, slapping someone, groping a person, e.t.c.

Blackstone’s dictionary defines battery as; The least touching of another’s person willfully.

Note the following principles:

:: The touch need not be hostile, so long as it is unconsented to, it can amount to battery-RE F, Per Lord Goff.

:: Willful and unconsented projection of heat, smell, noise… on the plaintiff making him uncomfortable can constitute a battery-Lawal v. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dele Giwa v. IGP, Amakiri v. Iwowari, Akintola v. Adegbenro, Onwo v. Oko.

:: The Contact need not be Direct. It can be Direct (e.g. slapping someone) or Indirect (e.g. stoning someone). On indirect contact, see DPP v. K where a 15 year old put acid in a hand dryer and a student who wanted to use the dryer got the acid blown on his face. The court held that the defendant was guilty of battery.

:: Some persons (like police officers) may be engaged in battery and assault during the course of their duty but they should not act outside the scope of the law/their duty-Collins V. Wilcock, Donnelly v. Jackman.

:: Although the touch needs to be unconsented, once the touch is hostile, battery might be construed despite the plea of consent-Wilson V. Pringle. In this case, two schoolboys were playing when one pushed the other which resulted in his falling and injuring himself. The court held that if the touch is hostile, there is battery irrespective of the intention. See also Williams v. Humphrey[3] Fagan v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner. See however lord Goff in Re F.

:: The least touching could also constitute battery: Cole v. Turner, Scott v. shepherd.


[1] Unintentional application of force should come under negligence. See Letang v. Cooper, Fowler v. Lanning, Gibbons v. Pepper.

[2] Please read your books. You would see better authorities that defined most of these terms.

[3] A movie example would be A and B are friends, they meet themselves on the road and greet by pushing in a friendly manner. A pushes B and B pushes A back. A sees a truck approaching then forcefully pushes B to the road to collide with the truck. This is battery notwithstanding that both consented to the pushing.


Quite eccentric really

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