Claims against social services

What will become of failure to remove cases?

Claims in negligence for failure to remove became increasingly common after the case of D v East Berkshire (CA, 31 July 2003).  Courts were asked to scrutinise the actions of social services when investigating child protection concerns or deciding whether to start care proceedings.  This run of cases stalled after the Supreme Court decision on CN & GN v Poole BC (SC, 6 June 2019) In CN, Lord Reed ruled that local authorities could not avoid liability on public policy grounds, but he distinguished between cases where they made things worse (‘positive acts’) and cases where they failed to make things better (‘pure omissions’).  A duty of care existed for positive acts, but not for pure omissions usually.

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Findings & recommendations from the HIA report

The report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland launched today. A copy of the report was delivered to the Executive Office (formerly the Office of First and Deputy First Minister).  The report, which is available online, consists of 10 volumes amounting to 2300 pages.

It deals with issues such as an apology; by whom should an apology be made and the nature of that apology. It also addresses a memorial or tribute to those who suffered abuse, a redress scheme, findings of failings against the State and voluntary providers of residential care homes.

The initial points of interest are the recommendation for a Redress Scheme and criticisms of the involvement of the State in the supervision and inspection of various homes.

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