According to Gilbert Kodilinye, ‘’battery is the intentional application of force to another person.’’ Thus, it may be explained that battery is the application of force on a person without his consent and without legal justification.
Elements of battery:
1. There must be Intention to apply force:
To be liable for battery, the plaintiff must establish that it was the intention of the defendant to apply force. It is not necessary to prove intention to hurt the Plaintiff. See the case of Marube vs Nyamuro.
If the defendant intends to hit someone other than the plaintiff, there is battery and the principle of transferred malice would apply. In Livingstone vs Ministry of Defense, a soldier in Northern Ireland fired a baton round at a rioter. The round missed the rioter and hit the claimant. The principle of transferred malice was applied and the soldier was held liable.
2. It must be direct:
To be liable for battery, it must be as a direct result of the intentional act of the defendant. In Gibbon V pepper, the defendant whipped a horse so that it bolted and ran down the plaintiff. It was held that the injury suffered by the plaintiff was a direct result of the defendant’s action. He was thus held liable for battery.
It should be noted that the force applied does not have to be a personal one as seen in Pursell vs Horn, the claimant went to the salon to get a permanent wave. However, at the salon, D threw water on the plaintiff. The defendant was held liable.