From Lawiki - The law notes repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lawiki for and by law students - find us on Facebook if you want to help us edit this Law Wiki.

Not professional advice - LAWIKI cannot guarantee the validity of any information

The tort of detinue was quite wide-ranging some 200 years ago, but its role was in time taken over by the tort of conversion. Traditionally, detinue existed whenever the defendant either used or retained goods supplied by the claimant under a bailment, but without the claimant's authorisation. By the latter part of the 20th century, though, the tort of detinue had contracted until it was only being pleaded in cases where the bailee received goods from the bailor and then lost them. The traditional view was that this could not be conversion, since conversion required a conscious (i.e. positive) act on the part of the bailee. The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act (1977) abolished detinue altogether, and expanded the tort of conversion to cover this last remaining circumstance where detinue might have been pleaded. Hence, by statute, the bailee's (unintentional) error would today amount to the tort of conversion.

See interference with goods.