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Evolving Vicarious Liability: the Real Justice?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By hongting
Words 1956
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EVOLVING VICARIOUS LIABILITY: THE REAL JUSTICE?

The Catholic Child Welfare Society & Ors v Various Claimants & Others

Facts
The case concerned a large group of men claiming that they had been sexually and physically abused from the brothers of the institute who taught at St William’s School.

Two groups of defendants were identified in the case. The first group consists of various boards of manager, who had carried out the management of the school from 1958 and 1992, also known as the “Middlesbrough Defendants”.
The second group was an Institute, which is an unincorporated association of lay brothers of the Catholic Church. At all material times, the Institute supplied both the headteacher and some other teachers to the school. This group of defendants are known as the “De La Salle Defendants”.

The Institute is an unincorporated association headed by a Superior General, and divided into provinces headed by a “Provincial”. It consists of lay community teachers who are not priests, but bound together by strict rules which govern all aspects of their life. The rules prohibit the touching of a child or corporal punishment while teaching. All earnings must be given to the Institute. They swear lifelong vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Also each brother undertakes to “go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever I maybe assigned by the Institute or its superior”.

The Middlesbrough Defendants were found to be solely vicarious liable at first instance, the claimants in this appeal seek to review the Court of Appeal judgment where the De La Salle Defendants were not found vicariously liable for the brothers teachers misconducts.

Judgments
A unanimous decision of the Supreme Court held that the Institute to be dually vicarious liable for the acts of abuse along with the Middlesbrough Defendants.

Lord Phillip approached this case with the...

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