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Third party liability for child abuse: unanswered questions

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In recent years, Tort litigation in respect of child abuse has moved towards the increased imposition of third party liability. This trend has been enhanced by the House of Lords decision in Lister v. Hesley Hall which reconsidered the 'Salmond criteria' for vicarious liability for intentional torts in the light of jurisprudence from the Supreme Court of Canada. In English courts, judicial reasoning in this area has been driven predominantly by legal principle rather than by policy considerations. Until the latter are articulated, the reality behind, and the implications for practice of, the trend towards third party liability for child abuse cannot be fully understood.
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Keywords: child abuse; close connection; policy; secondary defendants; vicarious liability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Law, Oxford Brookes University

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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