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Unlawful arrest V wrongful arrest

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Re: Unlawful arrest V wrongful arrest

Postby Spankymonkey » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:32 pm

I would deem wrongful arrest to be an arrest that encroaches upon someone's civil liberties, whereas an unlawful arrest would be one that is in breach of statute or common law.

A police officer can arrest anyone they suspect in relation to a criminal offence as long as they hold a reasonable suspicion and the arrest is necessary. There is no statutory definition of reasonable suspicion, so it would depend upon the facts available at the time.
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Re: Unlawful arrest V wrongful arrest

Postby atticus » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:20 pm

Is there a difference?
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Re: Unlawful arrest V wrongful arrest

Postby shootist » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 pm

I think that the actual offending behaviour is neither unlawful arrest or wrongful arrest, but is unlawful imprisonment, I think. This would mean that for both questions in the OP, the matter is whether the arresting person was acting lawfully. So there is no functional difference between the two expressions as neither carries any weight, if I'm right.
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Re: Unlawful arrest V wrongful arrest

Postby Spankymonkey » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:24 pm

atticus wrote:Is there a difference?

I wouldn't have thought so, but if there is an academic distinction that the OP has unearthed then that's how I'd define the two.

shootist wrote:I think that the actual offending behaviour is neither unlawful arrest or wrongful arrest, but is unlawful imprisonment, I think. This would mean that for both questions in the OP, the matter is whether the arresting person was acting lawfully. So there is no functional difference between the two expressions as neither carries any weight, if I'm right.


An unlawful arrest would give rise to a series of torts, not just false imprisonment, so it's wrong to say that unlawful/wrongful arrest is the same as unlawful imprisonment, as you call it. Many lawyers who specialise in police claims continue to refer to false arrest or unlawful arrest, as a blanket term for a multiple of torts that could arise from arrest.
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