Tort Law Assignment: Tort Law

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Tort Law Assignment

Michael v The Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2
This case was decided in the Supreme Court
Summary
The claimants were the parents and children of Joanna Michael, who had been murdered by her former partner. Ms Michael made a 999 call in which she explained that her ex-boyfriend had come to her house and found her with another man. He told her that he was going to kill her. The call handler, who said she did not hear Ms Michael mention this threat to kill, gave an abbreviated account of their conversation to South Wales Police. This excluded the threat to kill. The call was subsequently graded as only G2, requiring a response within 60 minutes. Approximately 14 minutes later, Ms Michael called 999 again;
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On these facts, Lord Kerr felt there was clearly a sufficient proximity of relationship between the police and Ms…show more content…
The fundamental principle that legal wrongs should be remedied outweighs the complete absence of evidence to support the claims of dire consequences if liability was found.
Lady Hale, also dissenting, generally supported the analysis of Lord Kerr and would also have allowed the Appellants’ appeal. She stated in her judgement, the policy reasons said to preclude a duty in a case such as this are diminished by the fact that the police already owe a common law, positive duty in public law to protect members of the public from harm caused by third parties, as well as by the existence of the ECHR claims.
In her judgement she cites the two main objections to imposing such duty as Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire and Brooks v Metropolitan Police Commissioner which set out that he police cannot be held liable for negligence in course of investigating or preventing crime. Whilst the principle is no longer regarded as an immunity, for policy reasons, no liability is imposed by the law.

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