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Street on Torts

Street on Torts (16th edn)

Christian Witting
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date: 27 May 2024

p. 1125. Duty of care IV: public authoritieslocked

p. 1125. Duty of care IV: public authoritieslocked

  • Christian WittingChristian WittingProfessor of Law, National University of Singapore, Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria


This chapter considers the liability in negligence of public authorities such as government departments and schools. It commences by examining typical features of public authorities, including their statutory and public dimensions. It then considers the tests that courts have used to determine whether they can claim jurisdiction to hear cases involving public authorities—ie, the issue of justiciability. If the court can exercise jurisdiction, then the next issue that arises is the application of the Caparo Industries v Dickman three-stage framework for duty which, in cases of public authorities, requires paying special attention to policy reasons for either recognising or excluding duties of care.

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