Consultation on remedies against public authorities

Law Commission consultation (187 pages, PDF) on remedies available against public authorities through the courts in England and Wales. This is to inform future Law Commission proposals for substantive changes to the law to be considered by the Government and Parliament.

The document includes a detailed review of the current position, in particular rights for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 (just satisfaction), under European Communities law (for "sufficiently serious" breaches), and in tort.

The main provisional proposal is to introduce a new action for “serious fault”, limited to “truly public” activities. Serious fault would be similar to "sufficiently serious" in ECJ case law. A truly public activity would be something that cannot be done by private individuals. Pure economic loss would be recoverable.

The new action would replace ordinary tort law in respect of these “truly public” activities, and the torts of misfeasance in public office and breach of statutory duty would be abolished.

Responses (including “any further information from consultees on the quantitative and qualitative effects of imposing liability on public bodies”) by Friday 7 November 2008.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

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