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9 Cards in this Set

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Criteria for bringing private claim against a public body

1. Non-exercise of statutory power must be irrational (Wednesbury unreasonableness)

2. There must be an exceptional case for allowing a claim for compensation (e.g. previous claims or economic behaviour inducing reliance)

If public body has acted within its statutory guidelines then for liability to exist there must be a badly made discretionary decision - this can only be decided by presenting all of the facts to the court.

Stovin v Wise (1996)

Public authorities operating functions imposed by statute do not have a common law duty of care unless it is provided for by the statutory language, or in special circumstances where an authority has assumed an obligation to a claimant to act in a particular way.

Council became joint defendant in road accident case for not clearing a bank that caused accident.

Court distinguished between 'power to act' and 'mandatory duty to act'

Gorringe v Calderdale (2004)

Public authority had acted within its stat duty regarding road signage and therefore owed no DoC

D had caused a road accident by dangerous driving and argued that council should have put a sign up about the potential danger.

Court was unwilling to create new common law regarding this. Council had done what it was statutorily required to do.

Carmarthenshire County Council v Lewis (1955)

Public authority has DoC to C injured as result of negligent care of school child (special relationship between school authority and children)

A motorist was injured when he had to swerve to miss a child who had been unsupervised and had left school.

X v Bedfordshire County Council (1995)

No duty of care on LAs in questions of whether to take children into care.

Where a statutory discretion was conferred on a public authority, nothing the authority could do within the ambit of that discretion was actionable at common law.

(n.b. became Z v UK - ECtHR qualified judgement in Osman - FJR of Caparo was not procedural barrier to fair trail and therefore not a breach of Art 6. Courts now only strike out a case if there are no new policy considerations to distinguish it from previous cases)

Combined appeals (abuse cases, and education cases). C two children who alleged negligent treatment of claims of child abuse. In one case, the child was left with its parents and suffered further harm, in the other it was unnecessarily taken away from them. In the education cases the issue was whether special education needs had been met.

Barrett v Enfield London Borough Council (1999)

A claim may lie against a local authority arising from child-care decisions in certain circumstances.

The general undesirability of striking out claims arising in uncertain and developing areas of the law without full exploration of the facts was emphasised. The notion of an exclusionary rule conferring immunity on particular classes of defendant was rejected. It was not considered that the policy factors which had weighed with the House in X v Bedfordshire had the same weight where complaints related to acts and omissions after a child had been taken into care.

W v Essex County Council (2000)

There can be DoC owed to parents of abused children by local authorities - depends on the facts of the case.

A foster family had specifically asked for and been assured of not having an abusive foster child. They were given a 15 yo boy who was under investigation for raping his sister. He sexually assaulted the children of the family. Their claims were allowed. The claims of the parents for psychological damage were thrown out by the CoA but allowed by HoL.

D v East Berkshire Community NHS Trust and others (2003)

Post HRA = change in nature of these cases.

DoC can be owed to children who are suspected abuse victims but not to the parents as this would create a conflict of interest.

Court suggested that breach could now be used to as a control rather then DoC.

Parents and one child sued for compensation for psychiatric harm resulting from unfounded accusations of child abuse. The child's case was allowed, others dismissed.

Merthyr Tydfil CBC v C (2010)

Parents of children reported to have been sexually abused can be owed a DoC if they are not suspected and it does not conflict with DoC owed to child.

Mother of assaulted children had reported abuse and been ignored causing psychological damage.