Supreme Court hears appeal in Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire considering again the Hill immunity and liability for the police in negligence.

In the latest development concerning the general rule that the police cannot be sued in negligence for activities concerning the investigation and suppression of crime, the UK Supreme Court (Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes and Lord Hodge) hear the case of Mrs Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire. Mrs Robinson was an innocent bystander in her late 70s who was knocked over and severely injured when 2 policemen and suspected drug dealer collided with her when the police were attempting to effect the arrest of the latter. The Appeal will involve a consideration of the contours of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Michael v South Wales Police where by a majority the court declined to abolish the Hill rule, preferring instead to provide an alternative explanation premised upon the ordinary common law principle of non-liability for failing to control third parties.

 

The Supreme Court will thus examine a series of important issues which have not been settled by the Michael case: - Did Michael decide that the Hill rule only prevents claims based on a pure omission by the police to prevent damage caused by a failure to control a 3rd party criminal?  What is a pure omission and how is the law to differentiate it from a case like that of Mrs Robinson where the damage is caused directly by the police and the cause of action is based either on a careless positive act or a case consisting of careless acts and omissions?  What are the parameters of the control exception to the omissions principle?

 

Nicholas Bowen QC is Leading Counsel on behalf of Robinson with David Lemer and Duncan Fairgreave (1 Crown Office Row) Junior counsel. 

« Back to listing

About cookies on our website

Following a revised EU directive on website cookies, each company based, or doing business, in the EU is required to notify users about the cookies used on their website.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience of certain areas of the site and to allow the use of specific functionality like social media page sharing. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but as a result parts of the site may not work as intended.

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)