Malice and unlawfulness: In tort if an act is lawful, you won’t be breaking the law regardless of whether the act was carried out with malice or bad intention.
Bradford Corporation v Pickles (1895): The corporation had a reservoir adjacent to Pickles’s land and Pickles wanted to force the corporation to buy his land with a high price. The water that fed the reservoir was coming through Pickles’s land and Pickles dug up the soil of his land to stop the water going into the reservoir. Though defendant’s act was a lawful act as land owner were allowed to interfere with underground water, the corporation argued that what the defendant did was driven by malice. The court rejected the argument put forward by the corporation as what Pickles did was a lawful act regardless of whatever his reason for doing it.