Miller v Jackson [1977] QB 966

Key point

  • Public interest must be taken into account when exercising the discretion to grant an injunction for nuisance

Facts

  • Cricket was played by a local club D
  • C’s home was nearby the cricket grounds
  • Several cricket balls were hit into C’s home and damaged it
  • C sued in nuisance and sought an injunction to prevent cricket from being played

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • D was liable in negligence and nuisance and damages for the damage to C’s home were granted
  • However, no injunction was granted as the social benefit of cricket outweighed C’s right to enjoyment without interference

Lord Denning MR

  • “The public interest lies in protecting the environment by preserving our playing fields in the face of mounting development, and by enabling our youth to enjoy all the benefits of outdoor games, such as cricket and football. The private interest lies in securing the privacy of his home and garden without intrusion or interference by anyone… As between their conflicting interests, I am of opinion that the public interest should prevail over the private interest. The cricket club should not be driven out. In my opinion the right exercise of discretion is to refuse an injunction.”

Commentary

  • Lord Denning MR thought that public interest should be taken into account in deciding not just whether to exercise the discretion to grant an injunction but whether C is liable for nuisance at all
  • The other judges disagreed with him on this point