Odhavji Estate v Woodhouse: 2003

(Supreme Court of Canada) The court reviewed the ingredients of misfeasance in public office.
Held: Iacobucci J said: ‘To summarize, I am of the opinion that the tort of misfeasance in a public office is an intentional tort whose distinguishing elements are twofold: (i) deliberate unlawful conduct in the exercise of public functions; and (ii) awareness that the conduct is unlawful and likely to injure the plaintiff. Alongside deliberate unlawful conduct and the requisite knowledge, a plaintiff must also prove the other requirements common to all torts. More specifically, the plaintiff must prove that the tortious conduct was the legal cause of his or her injuries, and that the injuries suffered are compensable in tort law.’ While grief or emotional distress were insufficient injury to support a claim, visible and provable illness or recognisable physical or psychopathological harm were not.


Iacobucci J


[2003] 3 SCR 263


CitedRoncarelli v Duplessis 1959
(Canada) The court discussed what was ‘targeted malice’ in the context of misfeasance. . .

Cited by:

CitedWatkins v Home Office and others HL 29-Mar-2006
The claimant complained of misfeasance in public office by the prisons for having opened and read protected correspondence whilst he was in prison. The respondent argued that he had suffered no loss. The judge had found that bad faith was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Torts – Other

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.240004