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Articles Local Government & Public Law 10th Jun 2019

When is a local authority liable for failing to protect a child from the wrongful acts of third parties?

Poole Borough Council v GN [2019] UKSC 25, 6 June 2019

In Darnley, following the abandonment of the “tripartite” Caparo test in Michael and Robinson, the Supreme Court declared that the common law in this jurisdiction had “abandoned the search for a general principle capable of providing a practical test applicable in every situation in order to determine whether a duty of care is owed, and if so, what is its scope” (para 50.)

In this case, the Court determined, without the aid of any such “universal touchstone”, the issue of whether a local authority could owe a child a duty to keep him safe from the anti-social behaviour of third parties.

Read more in this Alerter by Adam Heppinstall.


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