Sunday, 8 June 2014



This is a complex and difficult area of law which has been founded on  policy rather than legal principle and has had to adapt as more cases have come to the fore.  The Supreme Court’s most recent comments in the case of  Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society indicates that change in this area continues and the Judges in that case indicated as stated below what the Court will consider when dealing with a claim for vicarious sex abuse historically or otherwise.  In that case they stated as follows:-

"The relationship that gives rise to vicarious liability is in the vast majority of cases that of employer and employee under a contract of employment.  The employer will be vicariously liable when the employee commits a tort in the course of his employment.  There is no difficulty in identifying a number of policy reasons that usually make it fair, just and reasonable to impose vicarious liability on the employer when these criteria are satisfied
    i) The employer is more likely to have the means to compensate the victim than the employee and can be expected to have insured against that liability;
    ii) The tort will have been committed as a result of activity being taken by the employee on behalf of the employer;
    iii) The employee's activity is likely to be part of the business activity of the employer;
    iv) The employer, by employing the employee to carry on the activity will have created the risk of the tort committed by the employee;
    v) The employee will, to a greater or lesser degree, have been under the control of the employer."

    If you find yourself considering a claim for vicarious sex abuse please read the Judgement  in

      The Catholic Child Welfare Society and others (Appellants) v Various Claimants (FC) and The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and others (Respondents)

    For further information on the latest approach by the Courts to vicarious sexual abuse please read the the full Judgment of the above case


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