Tuesday, November 1, 2011

thought/quote of the day: english law and trade in late-18th century africa

From the Wikipedia article on tortious inference:
In a similar case, Tarleton v. McGawley, 170 Eng. Rep. 153 (K.B. 1793), the defendant shot from its ship Othello off the coast of Africa upon natives while “contriving and maliciously intending to hinder and deter the natives from trading with” plaintiff’s rival trading ship Bannister. This action caused the natives (plaintiff’s prospective customers) to flee the scene, depriving the plaintiff of their potential business. The King's Bench court held the conduct actionable. The defendant claimed, by way of justification, that the local native ruler had given [defendant] an exclusive franchise to trade with his subjects, but the court rejected this defense.

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