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Emergency services to the rescue, or not, again

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  • Law
  • Mathematics


Re-considers whether a duty of professional rescue by the emergency services might be recognised. The paper argues that the rejection of liability by the House of Lords in the cases of Van Colle v CC of Hertfordshire and Smith v CC of Sussex Police in 2008 is not dispositive. Nonetheless, it is clear that absent very special circumstances, the police have no common law duty to protect members of the public from attack, even though they have been warned in advance of the likelihood of that attack. No such ‘immunity’, however, can defeat a claim that the victim’s human rights have been violated.

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