Suing Public Authorities: Who Wins?

Authors: Tom Stafford Published date: 15-01-2016 Status: Under Review

This article argues that Civil Law is fundamentally unsuitable to dealing either with i) grievances against the way a Public Authority has handled a particular situation; or ii) loss that one has suffered at the hands of a public authority acting negligently. The rationale behind this conclusion is based on the belief that suing public bodies for negligence is problematic as it is an inordinately expensive process for the taxpayer and, being a fault- based system of liability, often leaves deserving individuals who have simply been the victims of bad luck with no compensation for their loss. Moreover, the state of the case law is doctrinally incoherent and unstable, and thus in need of re-examination. Keywords: liability of public authorities, negligence, duty of care, public bodies, fault-based compensation, law reform, public liability, omissions liability.

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COPYRIGHT: © The UK Law and Society Association, 2016