Illegality in Marine Insurance Law

Page 55


The illegality defence in tort law and the ex turpi causa defence in insurance

3.1 The illegality defence in tort law

3.1.1 The origin of the illegality defence in tort law

The illegality defence, or illegality rules, in tort law in England and Wales often refer to the defence which is used by the defendant (who may be the tortfeasor) to bar the claimant who has acted in an unlawful manner from claiming loss or compensation from him. And it may also bar the guilty claimant from claiming compensation for his loss or claiming a penalty from the third party. The claimant may be a victim purely because of the conduct of the defendant or because of his own conduct; or he may be a victim because of the illegal act which was committed by both the defendant and himself. In both circumstances, the illegality of the act committed by the claimant, no matter how trivial or severe, may provide a defence for the defendant and the third party.

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