English Law has so far failed to reconcile the demands of the emerging European human rights jurisprudence with its instinctive tendency to create 'public interest immunities' in respect of the negligence liability of public bodies.
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"English Law has so far failed to reconcile the demands of the emerging European human rights jurisprudence with its instinctive tendency to create 'public interest immunities' in respect of the negligence liability of public bodies. Reform of the law is needed." Introduction The aims of this essay are to critically discuss the statement, "English Law has so far failed to reconcile the demands of the emerging European human rights jurisprudence with its instinctive tendency to create 'public interest immunities' in respect of the negligence liability of public bodies. Reform of the law is needed." From this I will establish reasoned arguments as to whether or not I agree or disagree with the statement, illustrating my answer by reference to case law and statutory provisions. What is the relevant law? Relevant laws for the argument is contained within Human Rights Acts 1998, section 6, Acts of public authorities, which I extracted from Common Law (Law 103/220) 2002 - 2003 Statutory Materials Handbook. Which states: (1) It is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with a convention right. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act if - (a) as the result of one or more provisions of primary legislation, the authority could not have acted differently; or (b)
And so I believe a way around this problem would be to privatise the public services, so that if any citizens would like to take the services to court then the immunity would not apply, and so a fair and impartial hearing would be able to take place, meaning justice will be done. Where immunity has been exercised by the courts In the case of Osman v Ferguson4 the courts dismissed the applicants claim that the Police had negligently failed to arrest Paget-Lewis, who was Ahmet Osman's former schoolteacher. The Police had failed to arrest Paget-Lewis on any charge after interviewing him on the basis of complaints made to them from the Osman family. Tragically for the Osman's, Paget-Lewis went on to conduct the threats he had made, and on the 7th of March, Paget-Lewis seriously injured Ahmet Osman, and killing his father. And so the courts found that this case satisfied the proximity requirements that were needed to show that the Police did infact owe the Osman's a duty of care as their relationship was sufficiently proximate. However the case was a failure, as the English court applied the immunity from Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire.
Who would it benefit more? Would the public / Police be getting a better deal? And would changing any of the above mean that Police officers could not do their job properly because they are unable to work to serve the public to the best of their ability because they are too busy thinking if their actions will attract a court case. Concluding statement Furthermore on concluding this argument I believe that for the reasons set out in my arguments in the above section, "What are the problems with the law?" There can be no straight answer as to whether or not the Police or any other public service for that matter should be entitled to immunity from the courts. As there will always be tests that have to be satisfied before the courts, that go on to prove some matter of fact. And then each case is individual in its own right, and so has to be examined and judged upon its own merit. Having said that I do believe that the Police and other services should be able to do their job to the best of their ability without having to worry about the public taking them to court.
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