Report on Hackshaw V Shaw case in Adelaide Chemical and Fertilizer


Task: Prepare a detailed report on the Hackshaw V Shaw case of Adelaide Chemical and Fertilizer.


An outstanding account of a negligent act where the owner of a piece of land or property owes an obligation to the trespasser is given in the case of Hackshaw v. Shaw. The case has improved understanding of the varied obligations a property owner has to different types of trespassers. The court's judicial bench has worked particularly hard to pinpoint the specific regulations governing a premises' owner while keeping the law of negligence as the top priority.

According to the law of torts or offences, negligence occurs when a person violates his duty to prevent harming another person. In this instance, a person's duty is defined as a typical obligation of a responsible citizen, which he should uphold in relevant situations. Simply said, the concept behind the term "negligence" is that someone who is responsible for providing sufficient attention and care must do reasonable activities while being aware of potential outcomes that could harm other people and their property.

The main goal of this report is to support the petitioner's position and arguments regarding the duty of care that a person owes trespassers on a property when he is unaware of the owner's presence.


In this instance, Shaw, a farmer, uses a gasoline pump to refuel the machinery and vehicles he uses on his property. It was discovered that someone had taken the gasoline held on the property. Shaw made the decision to stop the theft of gasoline, but his efforts were unsuccessful. In the end, the farm's owner chose to contact the police, who then requested the evidence of the theft. The decision was made by Shaw's family to confront the thief. They eventually came up with a plan to approach the robber at night while armed with rifles and shotguns. The thief Cox and the 16-year-old girl Hacksaw arrived at the farm at night in a stolen car with the headlights off. According to the information given by Hacksaw, the petitioner, Cox stopped the automobile, drove inside the farm, and got out. When the petitioner is shot on her arm by the defendants. When Shaw and his family continued to fire on the car after seeing this, Cox got back into the stolen vehicle and drove away. The petitioner informed the court that the Cox was by himself when he got out of the car. Shaw simply fired a bullet at random to alert Cox. Shaw fired his second shot through the door of the automobile where the petitioner was seated when Cox ran towards it. The windscreen was cracked and automobile tyres were perforated in the sequence of shots that followed. The judge's decision in this case was against the defence attorneys and granted the petitioner's prejudiced contributory negligence. The petitioners had filed a cross-appeal to the higher court at the time the defender requested an appeal. The appeal was approved by a large majority of the judicial bench. The defender was then given a special leave-in to the High Court (Hackshaw v. Shaw (1984) 155 CLR 614).


In the case of Hackshaw v. Shaw, three problems were noted. Since there was a chance that the second person was also trespassing, it was debatable whether the defendant had a duty of care to them. It should also be thought about and debated if the petitioner was equally accountable for her injuries as she might have known she was on someone else's property without permission. When the shot was being fired at the car, it should be determined if the defender was responsible for a duty of care.