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Cover Administrative Law

15. Liability of Public Authorities  

Mark Elliott and Jason Varuhas

This chapter examines the nature and operation of the liability of public authorities, with particular emphasis on the tensions between the equality principle, a concern that authorities ought to be specially protected, and a concern that authorities ought to be subject to wider and more onerous obligations. The chapter first considers the relationship of public authority liability with judicial review and goes on to discuss the law of torts, especially the tort of negligence and what circumstances courts ought to impose negligence liability on public authorities for harm caused through exercises of statutory discretion. It then explores negligence liability in relation to omissions, human rights, and misfeasance in public office. It also reviews damages under the Human Rights Act 1998, contracts, restitution, and state liability in European Union law.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

20. Liability of Public Authorities  

Sir William Wade and Christopher Forsyth

This chapter discusses the liability of public authorities. Topics covered include categories of liability; liability under EU law; liability for breach of human rights; liability for the tort of negligence; strict liability; breach of statutory duty; misfeasance in public office; statement of general principles of liability; immunities and time limits for actions in tort; liability in contract; liability to make restitution; and liability to pay compensation where there has been no tort or breach of contract.

Chapter

Cover Wade & Forsyth's Administrative Law

20. Liability of Public Authorities  

Sir William Wade, Christopher Forsyth, and Julian Ghosh

This chapter discusses the liability of public authorities. Topics covered include categories of liability; liability for breach of human rights; liability for the tort of negligence; strict liability; breach of statutory duty; misfeasance in public office; statement of general principles of liability; immunities and time limits for actions in tort; liability in contract; liability to make restitution; and liability to pay compensation where there has been no tort or breach of contract.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

14. Torts  

A claim for damages for loss caused by a public authority gives a court the opportunity to do justice for the claimant and also to impose the rule of law on the administration. The challenge is to do both without interfering inappropriately in the administrative pursuit of public goods, and without creating public compensation funds that only a legislature can legitimately create. It is an important constitutional principle that liabilities in the law of tort apply to public authorities, just as to private parties. But there is no general liability to compensate for public action that was unlawful; the impugned conduct must meet the standard requirements of the tort liability of private parties, with the exception of the one public tort: misfeasance in a public office. This chapter discusses trespass to property, statutory liabilities, negligence, misfeasance in public office, and damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

21. Crown Proceedings  

Sir William Wade and Christopher Forsyth

This chapter discusses the liability of the Crown itself. ‘The Crown’ refers to the sovereign acting in a public or official capacity. The passage of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 placed the Crown, in principle, in the position of an ordinary employer and of an ordinary litigant. The law as it now stands under the Act may be divided under four headings: tort, contract, remedies and procedure, and statutes affecting the Crown.

Chapter

Cover Wade & Forsyth's Administrative Law

21. Crown Proceedings  

Sir William Wade, Christopher Forsyth, and Julian Ghosh

This chapter discusses the liability of the Crown itself. ‘The Crown’ refers to the sovereign acting in a public or official capacity. The passage of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 placed the Crown, in principle, in the position of an ordinary employer and of an ordinary litigant. The law as it now stands under the Act may be divided under four headings: tort, contract, remedies and procedure and statutes affecting the Crown.