• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss how this comment by Lord Slynn illustrates the development of the general concept of the duty of care and how the existence of the duty of care is to be decided in each case.

Extracts from this document...


'It has been said many times that the [duty of care in the] law of negligence develops incrementally so that the fact that there is no reported case succeeding against the police similar to the present one is not necessarily a sufficient reason for striking out.' Lord Slynn of Hadley, Waters v Commissioner of Police [2000] 1 WLR 1607 at 1613. Discuss how this comment by Lord Slynn illustrates the development of the general concept of the duty of care and how the existence of the duty of care is to be decided in each case. Negligent conduct had previously only been recognised through carefully defined circumstances. Damages tended to be only awarded in cases where 'special circumstances gave rise to a duty of care.' Some of these could be doctor-patient relationships, occupier-visitor relationships or where 'fire damage resulted from negligence.' If a case fell outside a recognised relationship there was no test for determining whether liability existed or not. This classification was used up until the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) AC 562, this was a vital case for English law and the concept of duty of care because it developed a general principle for a duty of care. In Lord Aitkin's principle speech he devised the principle known as the 'neighbour principle.' "You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour? Who, then, in law is my neighbour? ...read more.


AC 605. Lord Dickman identified a distinction between the two approaches that have been used to identify a duty of care. The first was the approach used prior to the decision made in Donoghe v Stevenson that he called the 'traditional approach- where the law finds the existence of the duty [of care] in different specific situations each exhibiting its own particular characteristics.'5 The second approach was developed in the decision in Anns6 and Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co. This was based on the idea of the 'more modern approach of seeking a single general principle which may be applied in all circumstances of a duty of care.'7 In the Australian case of Sutherland Shire Council v Heyman (1985) 60 ALR 1, Brennan J had a similar view to that of Lord Slynn, 'the law should develop novel categories of negligence incrementally.' This approach developed the idea of an incremental idea towards duty of care and the existence of it, instead of the broad general principles developed through Anns8 and Donohue v Stevenson. By developing an incremental approach it would allow judges to see what particular category the case fell into and then develop the rules in this area. This idea means that the individual facts of a case are looked at and then the judges can develop this area to find a judgement for that particular case rather than looking at the whole case and finding preceding cases to return a judgement. ...read more.


Throughout this essay the majority of points identified have led to the facts of each case being looked at individually, but in this case by looking the facts as a whole sequence shows how and when a duty of care should be owed. '...Whilst I accept that many of the individual items taken in isolation are at the least very unlikely to have caused the illness alleged, the plaintiff's case puts much emphasis on the cumulative effect of what happened.'10 As this essay has shown there have been various means of trying to establish a duty of care, a principle that may work in one case may be too strict or too lenient in another, this means that judges are constantly having to broaden and narrow guidelines for duty of care. This shows how important the incremental approach is, by allowing a judgement to be given on the individual facts of a case rather than following precedent as it allows the most appropriate judgement to be decided upon. In order to keep the law within a sensible framework, there are three factors that are employed, firstly the loss must be reasonably foreseeable, there must be a relationship of proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant and thirdly the liability for harm that has occurred must be 'just and reasonable'. The necessary points vary from case to case but the one thing that courts are looking for is a relationship of proximity, it may not be universally applied but can be applied within context of the individual facts of the case in question. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. The common law of negligence imposed a duty of care on the occupier of ...

    into the music room with her consenting to be on his own as she trusted him. This may also take into the next part of the act as the duty may be restricted to parts of the premises, certain activities or at certain time.

  2. Occupier's Liability

    Thus, the test gives consideration to the purpose and consequent subjective state of the invitee. A higher duty of care will be owed by the RSPB to a disabled invitee who may need a wheel chair to access RSPB premises.

  1. Health and Social care

    General Practice is an essential part of medical care in all countries. The general practitioner is the first point of contact for most medical services. The bulk of the work is carried out during consultations in the surgery and during home visits.

  2. TORT ESSAY - PROBLEM QUESTION Economic loss and duty of care

    Damages What damages did Sunita's husband suffer? Actions for 'wrongful birth'; actions by the parents claiming that the defendant's negligence denied them the opportunity to avoid the outcome of a disabled child, were clearly classified in McFarlane v Tayside Health Board [2000] 2 A.C.

  1. Examining the advantages of creative activities to the client.

    When I got to the school I put all my resources onto the table so that I was organised and ready to start my activities with my clients. When I first met the children I made sure that I always used appropriate language when I interacted with my clients as

  2. child development and child care

    She is often shows sensitivity to others. She likes to be independent and strongly self-willed. She likes to be with other children and enjoys playing with other kids in the group. She understands the needs of others and the need to share and take turns. She tries to work out what is right and what is wrong.

  1. Child development study - I will compare my visits and look at Aroushs development ...

    A mat should be laid out 4. No equipment should be broken 5. The activity should be suitable for her age Hypothesis From this activity I expect to see her enjoying drawing and colouring. I also expect to see that she is able to hold a pen or pencil in palmer grasp, as this is a milestone

  2. Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to individual development.

    Another is that your finical status has a big part to play on your upbringing, if your family are rich; it is thought that you will be your happy while this isn?t proven. Again your class status is also a big part of the nurture debate.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work