The court held that Hill did not confer generally immunity upon the police, only that a duty of care would not arise without special circumstances. Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Sutcliffe killed 13 young women and attempted to kill seven others. Sydney William Templeman, Baron Templeman, MBE, PC was a British judge. (APPELLANT) v. CHIEF CONSTABLE OF WEST YORKSHIRE (RESPONDENT) Lord Keith of Kinkel Lord Brandon of Oakbrook Lord Templeman Lord Oliver of Aylmerton Lord Goff of Chieveley LORD KEITH OF KINKEL My Lords, In 1975 a man named Peter Sutcliffe embarked upon a terrifying career … These factors should only be considered in novel cases. Otherwise, a claimant can argue that a public body's decision was unlawful in five main types of case: (1) it exceeded the lawful power of the body, used its power for an improper purpose, or acted unreasonably, (2) it violated a legitimate expectation, (3) failed to exercise relevant and independent judgement, (4) exhibited bias or a conflict of interest, or failed to give a fair hearing, and (5) violated a human right. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action in negligence. The imposition of a duty of care on the police for operational activity. It established a broad test for determining the existence of a duty of care in the tort of negligence called the Anns test or sometimes the two-stage test for true third-party negligence. For further discussion see S Arnell, “Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police: a re-interpretation by the Supreme Court”, 2018 JR 128. It is for him to decide how available resources should be deployed, whether particular lines of inquiry should or should not be followed and even whether or not certain crimes should be prosecuted." Poor old Mrs …, Kevin Donoghue explains the basis on which claims against the police are made and provides guidance for lawyers dealing with these cases using a practical example of one of his cases ‘False imprisonment is defined in Clerk & Lindsell on Torts as the “complete deprivation of liberty for any time, however short, without lawful cause”. However, he held that the police did not owe a duty of care to the Claimant, due to the decision in Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, which he deemed to confer a blanket “immunity” on the police against claims in negligence. He held: He held that as a general matter of public policy, the police should not owe a duty to the public at large in tort to apprehend criminals expeditiously, for "the imposition of liability may lead to the exercise of a function being carried on in a detrimentally defensive frame of mind." Crown Office Chambers | Personal Injury Law Journal | November 2019 #180. An ultra vires action will not, per se, give rise to damages Therefore a claimant will have to fit into one of the recognised private law courses of action. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. On the policy-based approach, a duty of care would only be found if it was fair, just and reasonable to impose liability. By contrast, claims against public bodies in tort or contract are usually limited by the Limitation Act 1980 to a period of 6 years. It is important to clarify what this case was about. However, now, where a third party is injured or has suffered damages due to negligence of a police officer, the police would be … Second, specifically addressing the position of the police, the decision of Lord Keith in Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [1989] AC 53 was thoroughly analysed given that the Supreme Court deemed it to have been continuously misunderstood: “45. [9], Lord Templeman gave a short concurring judgment. However, there was no proximity between the police and the victim. Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire: HL 28 Apr 1987 No General ty of Care Owed by Police The mother of a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper claimed in negligence against the police alleging that they had failed to satisfy their duty to exercise all reasonable care and skill to apprehend the perpetrator of the murders and to protect members of the public who might be his victims. Attia v British Gas Plc [1988] QB 304 is an English tort law case, establishing that nervous shock from witnessing the destruction of personal property may be actionable. Start studying Tort Law Topic 1 - Duty of Care. He is serving 20 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment, which was increased to a whole life order in 2010. Administrative liability in English law is an area of law concerning the tortious liability of public bodies in English law. To succeed in the claim, he had to overturn an earlier Court of Appeal decision that had decided that preparation of a joint statement with the other side's expert was covered by immunity from suit. The plaintiffs in this application were a mother and three children. Generally, an employer will be held liable for any tort committed while an employee is conducting their duties. Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465 is an English tort law case on economic loss in English tort law resulting from a negligent misstatement. Jacqueline Hill was at no particular distinctive risk and thus no duty … STUDY. Because the application was made to strike out on the basis that there was no cause of action, the courts proceeded on the hypothetical assumption that these criticisms were all true, but without making any findings of act in that regard. The House of Lords overruled the previous position, in recognising liability for pure economic loss not arising from a contractual relationship, introducing the idea of "assumption of responsibility". Kaney therefore succeeded in getting the claim struck out before trial on an application heard by Mr Justice Blake in the High Court of Justice. Legal principle: There is no duty of care on the police to apprehend unidentified criminals and therefore they are consequently not liable in negligence where these criminals commit further crime. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The judge issued a certificate allowing the claimant to "leapfrog" the Court of Appeal and go straight to the Supreme Court to appeal against his decision. 38 Sutherland Shire Council v Heyman (1985) 60 ALR 1, 43–44 quoted by Lord Reed in abbreviated form in Robinson, UKSC, para 25. [10] However, he too concurred that no duty of care arose. Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police[1991] UKHL 5, [1992] 1 AC 310 is a leading English tort law case on liability for nervous shock. The case of Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [2018] UKSC 4 narrowed down the Caparo test of establishing Duty of Care. The case was interpreted as immunity from negligence actions for police when involved in the suppression and investigation of crime '. "Human rights: Claims against the police post Robinson and DSD – part two", "Duty of care: Claims against the police post Robinson and DSD – part one", "Liability: Pure omissions and public authorities", "Compensation: Civil actions against the police – what every lawyer must know", "Case Report: DSD, NBV v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 436 (QB)", © 2020 Legalease Ltd. All rights reserved, Registered company in England & Wales No. Desmond v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police [2011] EWCA Civ 3; [2011] PTSR 1369, that immunity was not confined to cases of omission. HELD: The court had not been referred to any authority that resolved the issue of whether the respondent had a reasonable prospect of proving that the police had a duty of care in the circumstances, Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co Ltd [1970] A.C. 1004, Alexandrou v Oxford [1993] 4 All E.R. Jacqueline' Mother made a claim against the Chief Constable on the grounds that the police had been negligent in their detection and detention of Sutcliffe. The duty of care may be imposed by operation of law between individuals who have no current direct relationship but eventually become related in some manner, as defined by common law. In turn, breaching a duty may subject an individual to liability. As a result, it significantly changed the law concerning the police. Anns v Merton London Borough Council[1977] UKHL 4, [1978] AC 728 was a judicial decision of the supreme court at its date, the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords. Historically, it was held that most intentional wrongdoings were not in the course of ordinary employment, but recent case law suggests that where an action is closely connected with an employee's duties, an employer can be found vicariously liable. He noted that the two cases were similar, but held that no duty of care arose between Yorkshire Police and Ms Hill. The duty of care is one of the key aspects of tort law and provides a foundation for claimants when bringing a case. Search. The House of Lords held in favour of the police: no duty of care was owed by the police. The focus of this chapter is on the recent decision of the UK Supreme Court ( the Supreme Court ) in Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police ( Robinson ),1 where Lord Reed gave a leading judgment that represents a golden opportunity to place future duty of care reasoning on a secure, settled and defensible footing. Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1987] UKHL 12 , [1989] AC 53 was a judicial decision of the House of Lords in relation to the claim by the mother of Jacqueline Hill (one of the last victims of Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper") against West Yorkshire Police that their negligence in failing to apprehend the killer resulted in her daughter's death. In the English law of tort, professional negligence is a subset of the general rules on negligence to cover the situation in which the defendant has represented him or herself as having more than average skills and abilities. The lead decision was given by Lord Keith of Kinkel. The claimant must be able to show a duty of care imposed by law which the defendant has breached. This case was overruled by Murphy v Brentwood DC [1991]. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. The only public body whose decisions cannot be reviewed is Parliament, when it passes an Act. The United Kingdom Supreme Court reviewed the decision in Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4, coincidentally also a claim against West Yorkshire Police. [11], The United Kingdom Supreme Court reviewed the decision in Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4, coincidentally also a claim against West Yorkshire Police. The Chief Constable was named as defendant in the action pursuant to section 48(1) of the Police Act 1964. United Kingdom administrative law is part of UK constitutional law that is designed through judicial review to hold executive power and public bodies accountable under the law. He served as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary from 1982 to 1995. As a remedy, a claimant can ask for the public body's decisions to be declared void and quashed, or it could ask for an order to make the body do something, or prevent the body from acting unlawfully. [12] Where the police themselves had created the danger, then they would have a duty of care. [4] Accordingly, while a chief police officer has an obligation to enforce the law, there were no specific requirements as to the manner in which they must do so. The plaintiff’s 20-year-old daughter was … Peter William Sutcliffe, also known as Peter William Coonan, is a prolific English serial killer who was dubbed the ’Yorkshire Ripper’ by the press. there was insufficient proximity between the police and the victim). 39 (n 23). The usual rules rely on establishing that a duty of care is owed by the defendant to the claimant, and that the defendant is in breach of that duty. In English tort law, an individual may owe a duty of care to another, to ensure that they do not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss. This was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. Browse. On the day in question, four police officers had coordinated the arrest of a suspected drug dealer on a busy street in Huddersfield. During the struggle, the suspect and two police officers had knocked into 76-year-old Mrs Robinson; she fell to the ground and they fell on top of her. Other officers arrived. Flashcards. The reasonably foreseeable risk of injury to the Appellant when the arrest was attempted was enough to impose a duty of care on the officers. [1]. The floodgates principle, or the floodgates argument, is a legal principle which is sometimes applied by judges to restrict or limit the right to make claims for damages because of a concern that permitting a claimant to recover in such situations might open the metaphorical "floodgates" to large numbers of claims and lawsuits. [1] [2] [3] The claim was struck out on the alternative bases of (i) the police owed no specific duty of care to a member of the general public, and (ii) on public policy grounds. Vicarious liability in English law is a doctrine of English tort law that imposes strict liability on employers for the wrongdoings of their employees. PLAY. The doctrine was significantly developed in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson, where a woman succeeded in establishing a manufacturer of ginger beer owed her a duty of care, where it had been negligently produced. One officer saw W drug dealing. The officer made an operational assessment that he could not immediately make an arrest. The officers considered that if they did not arrest W at that point the … The court held that Hill did not confer generally immunity upon the police, only that a duty of care would not arise without special circumstances. This included a letter sent by one Trevor Birdsall, a long-time associate of Sutcliffe, who stated that Sutcliffe had a fixation with prostitutes and that Birdsall had reason to believe he might be the killer. In the meantime W had moved locations and was standing outside a shop in the town centre. [8] Further, he was concerned about the time and manpower it would take for the police to defend such claims. It is also relevant for English criminal law and English contract law. English tort law concerns the compensation for harm to people's rights to health and safety, a clean environment, property, their economic interests, or their reputations. He then reviewed the position in relation to establishing a duty of care. Where the police themselves had created the danger, then they would have a duty of care. The case also addressed the liability of government bodies, a person's liability for the acts of third parties that he has facilitated, and liability for omissions. The principle is most frequently cited in common law jurisdictions, and in English tort law in particular. She claimed that the police had negligently failed to prevent her daughter’s death, in failing to ‘exercise all reasonable care to catch the criminal’. This specialised set of rules determines the standards against which to measure the legal quality of the services actually delivered by those who claim to be among the best in their fields of expertise. Gravity. He further noted that under the common law, police officers owe to the general public a duty to enforce the criminal law (R v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Ex parte Blackburn [1968] 2 QB 118), enforceable by an action for mandamus . Duty of care: Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1987] UKHL 12, [1989] AC 53 was a judicial decision of the House of Lords in relation to the claim by the mother of Jacqueline Hill (one of the last victims of Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper") against West Yorkshire Police that their negligence in failing to apprehend the killer resulted in her daughter's death. All except two of his murders took place in West Yorkshire; the others were in Manchester. However, he went on to note, "a chief officer of police has a wide discretion as to the manner in which the duty is discharged. Although the term "nervous shock" has been described as "inaccurate" and "misleading", it continues to be applied as a useful abbreviation for a complex concept. The standard test of breach is whether the defendant has matched the abilities of a reasonable person. The possibility of recovering damages for nervous shock, particularly caused by negligence, is strongly limited in English law. In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on an individual requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. Sutcliffe had been arrested for drunk-driving in April 1980. Key Case | Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (2018) | Negligence - Duty of Care. On 22 May 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women and attempting to murder seven others. Facts . In Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, the Court clarified that Lord Bridge did not create a tripartite test in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman.Instead, he identified a set of factors which indicate whether a duty of care is owed. While awaiting trial for this, he killed two more women (including Hill) and attacked three others who survived. That belief is entitled to respect and understanding. The Judge at first instance found that that the officers had acted negligently as one had not noticed the Claimant’s close proximity to the suspect. Prior to the decision, the notion that a party may owe another a duty of care for statements made in reliance had been rejected, with the only remedy for such losses being in contract law. In her claim, Ms Hill's mother pointed to extensive failings on the part of West Yorkshire Police in relation to its investigation of the murders, and in particular officers' fixation upon a message purportedly from the killer which was later shown to be a hoax. Causation in English law concerns the legal tests of remoteness, causation and foreseeability in the tort of negligence. 2427356 VAT 321572722, Registered address: 188 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2AG. These cookies do not store any personal information. This rule is known as the Bolam test, and states that if a doctor reaches the standard of a responsible body of medical opinion, they are not negligent. Tashb9. Alongside contracts and unjust enrichment, tort law is usually seen as forming one of the three main pillars of the law of obligations. A mother and three children frequently cited in common law jurisdictions, and in English law 53 conferred... 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