Rex v The Commissioners of Sewers for the Levels of Pagham: 1828

The court considered responsibility for the inroads of the sea. The Commissioners erected groynes and other works to defend the stretch of coast for which they were responsible against the sea’s encroachment. But the consequence was that the sea flowed with greater force upon adjoining land, whose owner brought proceedings.
Held: ‘I am . . of opinion that the only safe rule to lay down is this, that each land-owner for himself, or the commissioners acting for several land-owners, may erect such defences for the land under their care as the necessity of the case requires, leaving it to others, in like manner, to protect themselves against the common enemy.’
Lord Tenterden CJ
(1828) 8 B and C 355
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedArscott and others v Coal Authority and Another CA 13-Jul-2004
The defendant had deposited coal wastes. When the river Taff flooded, the spoil heaps diverted the floods to damage the claimants’ homes. They appealed refusal of their claims in nuisance. The judge applied the common enemy rule: ‘an owner or . .

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Updated: 08 May 2021; Ref: scu.199368