Negligence – duty of care – statutory tort – immunity from suit – striking out – human rights
A local authority could not rely on blanket immunity in negligence cases, and child abuse cases were not bound to fail as a class. The failings of a local authority responsible under statutory powers for a person’s care and upbringing, could give rise to a common law negligence claim, if the failings were of a kind which were justiciable. The local authority could not rely on blanket immunity, and child abuse cases were not bound to fail as a class. There was an arguable existence of a duty arising from a local authority’s selection of foster parents. When considering whether a discretionary decision was negligent the court will ask itself whether the decision was plainly wrong. A summary hearing can be a fair hearing for the purpose of article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
*(H v Norfolk County Council overruled)