Sexual Abuse and the Changing Nature of Vicarious Liability Essay examples

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Case note
Sexual abuse and the changing nature of vicarious liability
Case: Various Claimants v Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools [2012] UKSC 5: [2012] 3 W.L.R. 1319 (SC)
According to Steele, vicarious liability is defined as an employer being found liable for the tort of his or her employee, provided that tort is sufficiently connected with the individual’s employment. On the face of it, this definition seems straightforward and clear, however you only need to look at the plethora of cases which have come to light in recent years to see that the reality is very different. The case of Various Claimants v Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, (CCWS) is the latest case which has served to further develop the
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Phillips identified the factors which gave rise to the finding of a relationship akin to an employee and employer these were: the teaching activity of the brothers was undertaken because the provincial directed the brothers to undertake it. The teaching activity undertaken by the brothers was in furtherance of the objective, or mission, of the institute. The manner in which the brother teachers were obliged to conduct themselves as teachers was dictated by the institute’s rules.

It is submitted that Phillips was right to find that control is no longer as important as it used to be. Although Morgan explains that there is a difference between employees and contractors, and that employees can be fully directed. While this is possible it is submitted that in practice, this is not what happens. Lord Phillips is correct in saying that it is not realistic to look for a right to direct how an employee should perform his duties as a necessary element in the relationship between employer and employee. This is because often, in highly technical work such as engineering or architecture the employees supervisor is often not trained in what the employee is doing, the supervisor is often only trained to be a good manager and so can only direct employees to be able to work

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