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NEGLIGENCE LIABILITY FOR OMISSIONS AND THE POLICE

  • Stelios Tofaris and Sandy Steel
Abstract

The police do not owe a duty of care to protect victims from the criminal acts of a third party when investigating or suppressing crime save in exceptional circumstances. This is justified as an application of the omissions principle and on several other grounds. The article argues that most of these justifications are unconvincing and it sets outs a positive rationale for the imposition on the police of a duty of care in respect of sufficiently proximate victims of a negligent omission. The scope of this duty can be coherently delimited by re-adjusting the existing framework of negligence liability of public authorities.

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Corresponding author
Address for Correspondence: Girton College, Girton, CB3 0JG, UK. Email: st277@cam.ac.uk.
Address for Correspondence: Wadham College, Oxford, OX1 3PN, UK. Email: sandy.steel@law.ox.ac.uk.
References
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1 Our formulation of this principle in an earlier draft version (University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law, Research Paper No. 39/2014) was cited with approval in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, at [176], per Lord Kerr, and at [189], per Lady Hale. Both justices dissented.

2 Michael, ibid.

3 Ibid., at para. [97], per Lord Toulson.

4 Ibid., at para. [101]. This had already been stated in cases involving public authorities other than the police: Stovin v Wise [1996] A.C. 923, 946; Gorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council [2004] UKHL 15; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1057, at [23]–[44].

5 Stovin [1996] A.C. 923, 943.

6 P.J. Fitzgerald, “Acting and Refraining” (1967) 27 Analysis 133, 139; J. Bennett, “Whatever the Consequences” (1966) 26 Analysis 83, 94–97.

7 T. Honoré, “Are Omissions Less Culpable?” in P. Cane and J. Stapleton (eds.), Essays for Patrick Atiyah (Oxford 1991), 50.

8 N.J. McBride and R.M. Bagshaw, Tort Law, 5th ed. (Harlow 2015), 217.

9 Honoré, “Are Omissions Less Culpable?”, p. 51.

10 J. Kortmann, Altruism in Private Law (Oxford 2005), 28.

11 Honoré, “Are Omissions Less Culpable?”, pp. 37, 53.

12 See sections IV and V below.

13 Customs and Excise Commissioners v Barclays Bank plc [2006] UKHL 28; [2007] 1 A.C. 181, at [18], per Lord Bingham.

14 A.P. Simester, “Why Omissions Are Special” (1995) 3 Legal Theory 311, 327–35.

15 R. Stevens, Torts and Rights (Oxford 2007), 9.

16 Ibid., at p. 9.

17 D. Nolan, “The Liability of Public Authorities for Failing to Confer Benefits” (2011) 127 L.Q.R. 260, 285.

18 See e.g. C. Fabre, “Good Samaritanism: A Matter of Justice” (2002) Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 128, 132–38.

19 Stovin [1996] A.C. 923, 944.

20 Lord Hoffmann recognised the deficiency of the argument in relation to public authorities: ibid., at p. 946.

21 In Michael [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, the majority explained the non-liability of the police for failure to prevent crime by applying the omissions rule, rather than emphasising the Hill policy factors. See however note 37 below. The validity of the Hill considerations has been affirmed post-Michael in CLG v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police [2015] EWCA Civ 836, at [13]–[24].

22 Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1989] A.C. 53, 63.

23 Brooks v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2005] UKHL 24; [2005] 1 W.L.R. 1495, at [28]; Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [73].

24 See e.g. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (London 1999); The Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel (London 2012).

25 Brooks [2005] UKHL 24; [2005] 1 W.L.R. 1495, at [28].

26 See section V.A below.

27 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [78], [81], [97], [108], [132].

28 Lord Toulson recognised some of the problems in Michael [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, at [121].

29 Mitchell v Glasgow City Council [2009] UKHL 11; [2009] 1 A.C. 874, at [28]; Gorringe [2004] UKHL 15; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1057, at [103]; Elguzouli-Daf v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [1995] Q.B. 335, 349.

30 Dorset Yacht Co. v Home Office [1970] A.C. 1004, 1033; Barrett v Enfield London Borough Council [2001] 2 A.C. 550, 568; Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council [2001] 2 A.C. 619, 672. See further, D.S. Cowan and J. Steele, “The Negligent Pursuit of Public Duty: A Police Immunity?” (1994) P.L. 4; P. Giliker, “Osman and Police Immunity in the English Law of Torts” (2000) 20 L.S. 372; C. McIvor, “Getting Defensive about Police Negligence: The Hill Principle, The Human Rights Act 1998 and the House of Lords” [2010] C.L.J. 133.

31 Barrett [2001] 2 A.C. 550, 568; Phelps [2001] 2 A.C. 619, 672.

32 J. Hartshorne, N. Smith, and R. Everton, “‘Caparo Under Fire’: A Study into the Effects upon the Fire Service of Liability in Negligence” (2000) 63 M.L.R. 502, 518–20.

33 Home Office, Independent Review of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886: Report of the Review (2013), at para. 2.16; J. Morgan, “Strict Liability for Police Nonfeasance? The Kinghan Report on the Riot (Damages) Act 1886” (2014) 77 M.L.R. 434, 455–56.

34 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [107]. Lord Hope made similar remarks at [76].

35 K. Paradine and J. Wilkinson, Protection and Accountability: The Reporting, Investigation and Prosecution of Domestic Violence (London 2004).

36 HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Everyone's Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse (2014), 6. See also M. Burton, Legal Responses to Domestic Violence (London 2008), ch. 6.

37 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [97], [133]. In Michael [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, at [122], Lord Toulson stated that “the only consequence of which one can be sure” is that imposition of liability on the police would have “potentially significant financial implications”, resulting in “a corresponding reduction of spending on other services, or … an increased burden on the public or … a combination of the two”.

38 Phelps [2001] 2 A.C. 619, 667; Capital & Counties v Hampshire County Council [1997] Q.B. 1004, 1044.

39 T. Bingham, Lives of the Law: Selected Essays and Speeches 2000–2010 (Oxford 2011), 276.

40 See further, Hartshorne et al., “Caparo Under Fire”; S. Halliday, J. Ilan and C. Scott, “The Public Management of Liability Risks” (2011) 31 O.J.L.S. 527.

41 This is widely accepted in the law and economics literature. See e.g. G. Calabresi, The Costs of Accidents (New Haven 1970); R. Posner, “A Theory of Negligence” (1972) 1 J.L.S. 29.

42 See e.g. Capital & Counties [1997] Q.B. 1004, 1043.

43 There seems to be no evidence that policing has been negatively affected in other jurisdictions where the police have been held liable in similar circumstances. See e.g. Doe v Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) Commissioners of Police (1998) 160 D.L.R. (4th) 697 (Ontario Court of Justice); Hill v Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Services Board [2007] 3 S.C.C. 41 (Supreme Court of Canada); Carmichele v Minister of Safety and Security 2001 (1) S.A. 489 and 2004 (3) S.A. 305 (Supreme Court of South Africa). On the position in Europe, see D. Fairgrieve, State Liability in Tort: A Comparative Law Study (Oxford 2003); D. Fairgrieve, M. Andenas, and J. Bell (eds.), Tort Liability of Public Authorities in Comparative Perspective (London 2002).

44 A.V. Dicey, Lectures Introductory to the Study of the Constitution (London 1885), 177–78.

45 T. Cornford, Towards a Public Law of Tort (Aldershot 2008), ch. 2; C. Harlow and R. Rawlings, Law and Administration, 3rd ed. (Cambridge 2009), 16–17.

46 D. Priel, “The Political Origins of English Private Law” (2013) 40 Journal of Law and Society 481, 503–04.

47 Compare N.J. McBride, “Case Note on Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales [2015] UKSC 2”, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law, Research Paper No. 21/2015, available at <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2565068>, at 9.

48 F. DuBois, “Human Rights and the Tort Liability of Public Authorities” (2011) 127 L.Q.R. 589, 604.

49 For some of these differences, see J. Gardner, “Criminals in Uniform” in A. Duff et al. (eds.), The Constitution of the Criminal Law (Oxford 2013), 97–118.

50 For the view that there is a moral distinction between the duty of professionals, e.g. policemen, to rescue, and that of private persons, see T. Honoré, Making Law Bind (Oxford 1987), 260–61.

51 See section IV.B below.

52 DuBois, “Human Rights”, pp. 600–07. See also Lord Hoffmann, “Reforming the Law of Public Authority Negligence” (Bar Council Law Reform Lecture, 2009), available at <http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media/100362/lord_hoffmann_s_transcript_171109.pdf>, at [18].

53 J.L. Coleman and G. Mendlow, “Theories of Tort Law” in E. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, available at <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/tort-theories/>, at s. 3.1.

54 Gardner, “Criminals in Uniform”, pp. 103–16.

55 E.J. Weinrib, “The Case for a Duty to Rescue” (1980) 90 Yale L.J. 247, 260.

56 See section IV.A below.

57 DuBois, “Human Rights”, p. 599. For criticism, see P. Cane, “Tort Law and Public Functions” in J. Oberdiek (ed.), Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts (Oxford 2014), 148–68.

58 DuBois, “Human Rights”, pp. 600–01.

59 DuBois denies this in relation to positive acts (at p. 603), but we do not see that his position has the resources to prevent this inference. Why are public authorities and private individuals “normative equals” in relation to negative rights, breach of which DuBois accepts as actionable in negligence, but not positive rights?

60 J. Gardner, “What Is Tort Law for? Part 2: the Place of Distributive Justice” in Oberdiek (ed.), Philosophical Foundations, pp. 335–53.

61 See e.g. Rowling v Takaro Properties [1988] A.C. 473, 502; X v Bedfordshire County Council [1995] 2 A.C. 633, 761.

62 Barrett [2001] 2 A.C. 550, 568, 589.

63 Phelps [2001] 2 A.C. 619, 653, 672.

64 P. Cane, Atiyah's Accidents, Compensation and the Law, 8th ed. (Cambridge 2013), 299–325.

65 R. Clayton and H. Tomlinson (eds.), Civil Actions Against the Police, 3rd ed. (London 2004), ch. 2; J. Beggs and H. Davies, Police Misconduct, Complaints and Public Regulation (Oxford 2009), ch. 3.

66 C. Booth and D. Squires, The Negligence Liability of Public Authorities (Oxford 2006), 205.

67 Osman v United Kingdom (2000) 29 EHRR 245.

68 Sarjantson v Chief Constable of Humberside Police [2013] EWCA Civ 1252; [2014] Q.B. 411, at [25].

69 Lord Brown came close to this in Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [136].

70 On the differences between the two claims, see DSD v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWCA Civ 646, at [64]–[68].

71 J. Steele, “Damages in Tort and under the Human Rights Act: Remedial or Functional Separation?” [2008] C.L.J. 606; J. Varuhas, “A Tort-Based Approach to Damages under the Human Rights Act 1998” (2009) 72 M.L.R. 750.

72 D. Nolan, “Negligence and Human Rights Law: The Case for Separate Development” (2013) 76 M.L.R. 286, 317.

73 In re Officer L [2007] UKHL 36; [2007] 1 W.L.R. 2135, at [20]; Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [69]. In the latter case, the Strasbourg court, like the domestic one, found that the test was not satisfied on the facts: Van Colle v United Kingdom (2013) 56 EHRR 23.

74 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [99], per Lord Phillips.

75 Nolan, “Negligence and Human Rights Law”, p. 304.

76 Ibid., at pp. 304–05.

77 Goldman v Hargrave [1967] A.C. 645.

78 T. Weir, “Governmental Liability” (1989) P.L. 40.

79 B.S. Markesinis et al., Tortious Liability of Statutory Bodies (Oxford 1999), 86.

80 Booth and Squires, Public Authorities, pp. 30, 33.

81 X [1995] 2 A.C. 633, 663, per Sir Thomas Bingham M.R. It was endorsed by Lord Browne-Wilkinson in the House of Lords, despite reaching the opposite conclusion: X [1995] 2 A.C. 633, 749. For subsequent approving citation, see e.g. Gorringe [2004] UKHL 15; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1057, at [2]; Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13; [2011] 2 A.C. 398, at [108], [113]; Crawford Adjusters v Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd. [2013] UKPC 17; [2014] A.C. 366, at [73].

82 Bingham, Lives of the Law, p. 279, and more critically D v East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust [2005] UKHL 23; [2005] 2 A.C. 373, at [100], per Lord Rodger.

83 Lord Dyson, “The Duty of Care of Public Authorities: Too Much, Too Little or About Right?” (PIBA Richard Davies Lecture, 2012), available at <http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/Speeches/mr-speech-piba-lecture-27112012.pdf>, at p. 3.

84 A. Robertson, “On the Function of the Law of Negligence” (2013) 33 O.J.L.S. 31, 39–40.

85 Ibid., at p. 40.

86 R. Stevens, “Private Rights and Public Wrongs” in M.N. Dyson (ed.), Unravelling Tort and Crime (Cambridge 2014), 136. See also, R. Stevens, “Salvaging of the Law of Torts” in P.S. Davies and J. Pila (eds.), The Jurisprudence of Lord Hoffmann (Oxford 2015), ch. 6.

87 P. Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” (1972) Phil. & Pub.Aff. 229, 231; A. Ripstein, “Three Duties to Rescue: Moral, Civil and Criminal” (2000) 19 Law & Phil. 751, 752.

88 Stevens, “Private Rights and Public Wrongs”, p. 136.

89 N.J. McBride, “Restitution for Wrongs” in C. Mitchell and W. Swadling (eds.), The Restatement Third: Restitution and Unjust Enrichment (Oxford 2013), 272–73.

90 For other justifications, see sections IV.B and IV.C.

91 R. Epstein, “A Theory of Strict Liability” (1973) 2 J.L.S. 151, 199.

92 For the view that physical distance can itself be a determinant of moral obligations to aid, see F.M. Kamm, “Does Distance Matter Morally to the Duty to Rescue?” (2000) 19 Law & Phil. 655, 670–77.

93 See section V.B.2 below. The steps which the police force might have to take to discharge its duty of care will, however, vary depending on the geographical location of the police force.

94 For a similar point, see V. Igneski, “Distance, Determinacy, and the Duty to Aid: A Reply to Kamm” (2001) 20 Law & Phil. 605.

95 See further Fabre, “Good Samaritanism”, pp. 138–41; J.C.P. Goldberg and B.C. Zipursky, “Tort Law and Moral Luck” (2007) 92 Cornell L.Rev. 1123, 1157–58.

96 See also D.P.J. Walsh, “Liability for Garda Negligence in the Prevention and Investigation of Crime” (2013) 48 I.J. 1, 18–20; L. McCabe, “Police Officers’ Duty to Rescue or Aid: Are They Only Good Samaritans?” (1984) 72 Cal.L.Rev. 661, 675–77.

97 R. Reiner, The Politics of the Police, 4th ed. (Oxford 2010), 7–8. For the notion that the state has a monopoly of the legitimate use of force, see M. Weber, Politics as a Vocation, transl. H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills (Philadelphia 1965).

98 This is important for the maintenance of civil peace: Glamorgan Coal Co. Ltd. v Glamorganshire Standing Joint Committee [1916] 2 K.B. 206, 226. In a recent report, the Independent Police Commission stated that “the police's unique resource”, which is “the capacity, if required to wield non-negotiable coercive force”, is connected to its “basic mission … to improve the safety and well-being of the people by promoting measures to prevent crime, harm and disorder” (Policing for a Better Britain (2013), 31). Nothing in our argument depends on suppression of crime being the only police function.

99 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [63], per Lord Hope.

100 See similarly, M.S. Shapo, The Duty to Act (Austin 1977), 100.

101 These are relevant to the establishment of proximity; see section V.B.2 below.

102 A.M. Linden, “Tort Law as Ombudsman” (1973) 51 Can.Bar Rev. 155; Harlow and Rawlings, Law and Administration, ch. 17.

103 E. Chamberlain, “Negligent Investigation: Tort Law as Police Ombudsman” in A. Robertson and T. Hang Wu (eds.), The Goals of Private Law (Oxford 2009), 283–310.

104 J.R. Spencer, “Suing the Police for Negligence: Orthodoxy Restored” [2009] C.L.J. 25, 26–27. In Hill, the claimant brought the claim “with the object of obtaining an investigation into the conduct of the West Yorkshire police force”, having stated that “any damages awarded shall be devoted to an appropriate charity” (Hill [1989] A.C. 53, 64).

105 D. Priel, “A Public Role for the Intentional Torts” in K. Barker and D. Jensen (eds.), Private Law: Key Encounters with Public Law (Cambridge 2013), 308 (original emphasis). For the vindicatory role of tort law in general, see Ashley v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2008] UKHL 25; [2008] 1 A.C. 962 at [18], [22]–[23], per Lord Scott.

106 Cane, Atiyah's Accidents, pp. 417–19.

107 D.P.J. Walsh, “Police Liability for a Negligent Failure to Prevent Crime: Enhancing Accountability by Clearing the Public Policy Fog” (2011) 22 King's Law Journal 27, 44–46; L. Hoyano, “Policing Flawed Police Investigations: Unravelling the Blanket” (1999) 62 M.L.R. 912, 933–34.

108 A. Sanders and R. Young, Criminal Justice (Oxford 2007), 612–30.

109 Clayton and Tomlinson, Civil Actions, p. 74.

110 Connor v Surrey County Council [2010] EWCA Civ 286; [2011] Q.B. 429, at [103]. The policy/operation distinction has been criticised in Stovin [1996] A.C. 923, 951, per Lord Hoffmann, and in S.H. Bailey and M.J. Bowman, “The Policy/Operational Dichotomy: A Cuckoo in the Nest” [1986] C.L.J. 430. It is important not to exaggerate the criticism. In many cases, the distinction makes practical sense and is understood by public employees themselves.

111 For a narrow view of justiciability, albeit in a different context, see Khaira v Shergill [2014] UKSC 33; [2015] A.C. 359, at [42]–[43].

112 Rigby v Chief Constable of Northamptonshire [1985] 1 W.L.R. 1242.

113 The pressure on allocation of resources is likely to grow in times of financial restriction. On tort law in such times, see N.J. McBride, “Tort Law and Criminal Law in an Age of Austerity” in Dyson (ed.), Unravelling Tort and Crime, ch. 3.

114 Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [42]. See similarly Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2014] EWCA Civ 15; [2014] P.I.Q.R. P14, at [40]–[43].

115 Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1992] 1 A.C. 310, 410; Taylor v A Novo (UK) Ltd. [2013] EWCA Civ 194; [2014] Q.B. 150, at [28].

116 Smith v Littlewoods Organisation Ltd. [1987] 2 A.C. 241, 272–73, per Lord Goff; Mitchell [2009] UKHL 11; [2009] 1 A.C. 874, at [23]. Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands v Hartwell [2004] UKPC 12; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1273 can be understood in this way.

117 Booth and Squires, Public Authorities, pp. 161–63; R. Bagshaw, “The Duties of Care of Emergency Service Providers” [1999] L.M.C.L.Q. 71.

118 Dorset Yacht Co. [1970] A.C. 1004.

119 Smith [1987] 2 A.C. 241, 272; Mitchell [2009] UKHL 11; [2009] 1 A.C. 874, at [23], [82].

120 The starting point remains Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964] A.C. 465. For the view that the test is objective, see Henderson v Merrett Syndicates Ltd. [1995] 2 A.C. 145, 181, per Lord Goff. For general discussion, see A. Robertson and J. Wang, “Assumption of Responsibility” in K. Barker et al. (eds.), The Law of Misstatement: 50 Years on From Hedley Byrne v Heller (Oxford 2015), ch. 4.

121 There was a dispute as to whether this was audible, but the court proceeded on the assumption that the claimant's version of the facts was correct.

122 Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2012] EWCA Civ 981; [2012] H.R.L.R. 30, at [22].

123 Michael [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, at [138].

124 This is consistent with Alexandrou v Oxford [1993] 4 All E.R. 328. Compare Osman v Ferguson [1993] 4 All E.R. 344, where the police assured the claimants that they would take action. A majority of the Court of Appeal found that the police were in a proximate relationship with the claimants, though a duty was ultimately denied.

125 See generally M. Jones (ed.), Clerk and Lindsell on Torts, 21st ed. (London 2014), at para. 8–51.

126 Reeves v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Area [2000] 1 A.C. 360.

127 Mullaney v Chief Constable of West Midlands [2001] EWCA Civ 700; [2001] Po. L.R 150.

128 Couch v Attorney-General [2008] 3 NZLR 725, at [112].

129 In Hill [1989] A.C. 53, the House of Lords was correct to rule that there was no proximity between the police and the victim. The police had no knowledge and could reasonably have no knowledge that she was at a higher risk of being harmed by the Yorkshire Ripper than other female members of the public.

130 A similar term is used in N.J. McBride and R.M. Bagshaw, Tort Law, 4th ed. (Harlow 2012), 207. However, this does not feature in the latest edition of that book.

131 Michael [2015] UKSC 2; [2015] 2 W.L.R. 343, at [197]. This formulation is similar to Lord Kerr's at [144], except that Lord Kerr's formulation is in one respect narrower – it requires that the defendant “be able to provide for the intended victim's protection without unnecessary danger to himself”, and in one respect broader – it finds proximity where the defendant “is a person or agency who might reasonably be expected to provide protection”.

132 Ibid., at para. [137].

133 Cf. A. Ashworth, Positive Obligations in Criminal Law (Oxford 2013), 41, for the view that “the case for recognising a positive duty to act is at its strongest when there are circumstances of urgency or emergency”.

134 In Canadian National Railway v Norsk Pacific Steamship Co. (1992) 91 D.L.R. (4th) 289, 293, Stevenson J. said: “I am prepared to recognise that a human being is more important than property”. See similarly Van Colle/Smith [2008] UKHL 50; [2009] 1 A.C. 225, at [55], per Lord Bingham.

135 J. Stapleton, “Duty of Care Factors: A Selection from the Judicial Menus” in P. Cane and J. Stapleton (eds.), The Law of Obligations: Essays in Honour of John Fleming (Oxford 1998), 59–95. See also A. Robertson, “Justice, Community Welfare and the Duty of Care” (2011) 127 L.Q.R. 370.

136 Swinney v Chief Constable of Northumbria [1997] Q.B. 464, 484, 487; An Informer v A Chief Constable [2012] EWCA Civ 197; [2013] Q.B. 579, at [103], [114], [180]. In James-Bowen v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 1249 (Q.B.), at [39], the court affirmed that the third limb of Caparo survives the analysis in Michael.

137 Stovin [1996] A.C. 923, 935, per Lord Nicholls.

138 Gorringe [2004] UKHL 15; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1057, at [71].

139 Ibid., at para. [3].

140 H. Wilberg, “Defensive Practice or Conflict of Duties? Policy Concerns in Public Authority Negligence Claims” (2010) 126 L.Q.R. 420. See also D [2005] UKHL 23; [2005] 2 A.C. 373.

141 Glasbrook Bros. Ltd. v Glamorgan County Council [1924] 1 K.B. 879, 896; Kent v Griffiths [2001] Q.B. 36, 47. For details, see Lord Mackay (ed.), Halsbury's Laws of England, 5th ed. (London 2013), vol. 84, at paras. 1–2 and 40.

142 Brooks [2005] UKHL 24; [2005] 1 W.L.R. 1495, at [30].

143 Glasbrook Bros Ltd. v Glamorgan County Council [1925] A.C. 270, 277, 285, 292. See also Rice v Connolly [1966] 2 Q.B. 414, 419; Haynes v Harwood [1935] 1 K.B. 146, 161–62.

144 Glasbrook Bros Ltd., ibid., at pp. 277–78, 288, 291.

145 Glamorgan Coal Co. [1916] 2 K.B. 206, 229.

146 Glasbrook Bros Ltd. [1925] A.C. 270, 306.

147 The judges in Glasbrook were not concerned with the imposition of a duty of care, but they were still delineating the duties of the police in light of the existing legal framework.

148 Wilberg, “Defensive Practice or Conflict of Duties?”, p. 432.

149 Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 1 W.L.R. 582, 586.

150 See further Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1998] A.C. 232.

151 Phelps [2001] 2 A.C. 619, 672, per Lord Clyde.

152 For a broader discussion of the role of breach, see D. Nolan, “Varying the Standard of Care in Negligence” [2013] C.L.J. 651.

153 Smith v Ministry of Defence [2013] UKSC 41; [2014] A.C. 52, at [171]; Walker v Northumberland County Council [1995] 1 All E.R. 737, 751.

* Fixed-Term University Lecturer in Private Law, University of Cambridge.

** Associate Professor of Law, Oxford University.

The authors are grateful to Jane Stapleton, Nicholas McBride, Roderick Bagshaw, and the anonymous referees for helpful comments on earlier drafts. The usual caveats apply.

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