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Academic Article

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Trade Union Law, Threaten Breach of Contract, Intimidation, Rookes v Barnard


Canadian courts will doubtless have to contend in the future with the tort of intimidation, as constituted by a threat to breach one's own contract, to which the House of Lords has given its blessing in Rookes v Barnard. This case, considered by many to be the most important decision in the area of trade union law since the Taff Vale case, has attracted considerable public attention in England. Much of the comment has emphasized their Lordships' treatment of section 3 of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906, of which there is no Canadian equivalent, but the new basis of common-law tort liability may well be thought, in legal circles, to be more important.