Tort & Voisinage: A Squirrel’s Tale
This article considers the recent judgment in Gale & Clarke v Rockhampton Apartments Ltd & Antler Properties CI Ltd.  JRC 189A which was handed down by the Royal Court of Jersey in the Channel Islands on 13th December, 2006. In this recent case, the Plaintiffs brought proceedings in respect of damage allegedly caused to their properties by the Defendants on the basis of (i) the tort of negligence and (ii) voisinage, a principle of civil law. The tort claim had prescribed and the defendants argued that voisinage was in fact not part of Jersey law. The Court considers that the duty of a landowner not to use his land in such a manner as to cause harm or injury to his neighbour is not founded in tort at all but in voisinage or quasi-contract. This decision represents an effort to resist the tide of English tort law that looks set to dominate Jersey legal thinking within its remit.