Introduced in the House of Commons on the 12 June 2014 and expected to be granted Royal Assent by the end of the parliamentary session in early 2015.
The bill has been developed in response to concerns that people may be put off from taking part in voluntary activities, helping others, or intervening in emergencies due to worries about risk and liability. It is also being introduced with a view that Courts will take account of people such as employers who have been taking a responsible approach towards the safety of others during an activity, and something goes wrong.
The bill therefore contains measures to reassure people that if something goes wrong whilst they are acting for the benefit of society, intervening in an emergency or generally being responsible when it comes to the safety of others, and they are then sued for negligence, full account of the context of their actions will be considered.
The bill however does not tell the court what conclusion they should reach, and it doesn’t prevent a person being found liable, but is intended to send a strong message that the courts will consider the context of the Defendant’s actions before reaching a conclusion on liability.
The idea is that Claimants will be slightly less likely to pursue a case against somebody who had been acting for the benefit of society, intervening in an emergency or adopting a generally responsible approach towards the safety of others in the course of the activity during which the negligence occurred.