Armstrong v Strain: QBD 1951

The necessary knowledge for the tort of deceit could not be found by adding the innocent mind of a principal, who knew facts which showed what his agent said to be untrue but did not know what the agent was saying, to the innocent mind of the agent who did not know that what he was saying was untrue.
Devlin J said: ‘A man may be said to know a fact when once he has been told it and pigeon-holed it somewhere in his brain where it is more or less accessible in case of need. In another sense of the word a man knows a fact only when he is fully conscious of it. For an action of deceit there must be knowledge in the narrower sense, and conscious knowledge of falsity must always amount to wickedness and dishonesty. When Judges say, therefore, that wickedness and dishonesty must be present, they are not requiring a new ingredient for the tort of deceit so much as describing the sort of knowledge which is necessary.’

Devlin J
(1951) 1 TLR 856
England and Wales
Appealed toArmstrong v Strain CA 1952
(Upheld) . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromArmstrong v Strain CA 1952
(Upheld) . .
CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.186640