Titchener v British Rlys Board

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Titchener v British Railways Board
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Court House of Lords
Decided24 Nov 1983
Citation1984 SC (HL) 34; [1983] UKHL 10; [1983] 3 All ER 770; [1983] 1 WLR 1427; 1984 SLT 192; SC (HL) 34
Court membership
Judges sittingLord Hailsham of St. Marylebone, Lord Chancellor and Lord Fraser of Tullybelton
Torts, Negligence

Titchener v British Railway Board [1983] 1 WLR 1427 is a Scottish delict case concerning occupiers' liability, decided by the House of Lords. [1]



Miss Titchener, a 15-year-old girl, climbed through a gap in a fence onto a railway line owned by the British Railways Board. She was hit by a train. She sued the board under the Occupiers' Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 for failing in their common duty of care to keep the premises reasonably safe for visitors.

The Inner House of the Court of Session held that the pursuer had taken a chance, fully aware of the risks involved and that the Board had no responsibility to maintain the fence any more than they had. [2]


The House of Lords dismissed the claimant's final appeal, holding that she was not owed any duty under the Occupiers' Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 on the grounds that she had voluntarily decided to run the risk of walking on the railway line. As such, the defender had no duty, at least in relation to the pursuer, to maintain the fence any better than they had, based on the principle of volenti non fit injuria .

Other cases

The following cases were referred to in this judgment:

See also

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  1. "Negligence - 1980- 1984" . Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  2. Mark Lunney, Ken Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (OUP, 2008) 286, ISBN   9780199211364