Category Archives: Public law

Marie-France Fortin, ‘Introduction to The King Can Do No Wrong – Constitutional Fundamentals, Common Law History, and Crown Liability

ABSTRACT ‘The king can do no wrong’ remains one of the most fundamental yet misunderstood tenets of the common law tradition. Confusion over the phrase’s historical origins and differing meanings has had serious consequences, making it easier for the state to escape liability for the harm caused to individuals by governmental officials or institutions. This […]

Antonia Layard, ‘Public (Trust) Rights in Open Space: Day v Shropshire Council

ABSTRACT In Day v Shropshire Council (Day), the Supreme Court considered the effect of a statutory trust under section 10 of the Open Spaces Act 1906 on a subsequent purchaser. Finding for the claimant, a local resident resisting development, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the local authority’s failure to give notice and consider objections […]

‘Government Contracts, Algorithms, and the Benefits of Trial and Error’

Cary Coglianese and Erik Lampmann, ‘Contracting for Algorithmic Accountability’, 6 Administrative Law Review Accord 175 (2021). Algorithmic accountability is a pressing contemporary issue. Machine learning algorithms – also known as artificial intelligence (AI) – are used in decision-making by state and federal agencies, as well as in the private sector. The decisional outcomes from AI […]

Emile Zitzke, ‘Transformative Legal History and the (Re)Classification of the South African Law of Delict’

ABSTRACT The South African law of delict is traditionally classified as a private-law discipline. This classification is usually made with reference to the actor, power and interest theories. According to the actor theory, private law regulates disputes between non-state actors inter se while public law regulates disputes involving the state. The power theory maintains that […]

‘Criminal Law meets Estates Law: Incarceration and Inheritance’

Brittany L Deitch, ‘Estate to State: Pay-To-Stay Statutes and the Problematic Seizure of Inherited Property’, 95 University of Colorado Law Review (forthcoming 2024), available at SSRN (20 March 2023). Criminal law scholars and estates and trusts scholars do not usually travel in similar circles. They do not typically attend the same conferences or read each […]

Young, Nagdee and Pieterse, ‘The dose-effect relationship in PTSD: the South African Constitutional Court Case of AK v Minister of Police (2022)’

ABSTRACT The decision of the South African Constitutional Court in AK v Minister of Police has implications for law enforcement agencies that fail the victims of crime. In this matter, the plaintiff sued the Minister and others for damages after officers had failed to rescue her from the perpetrator(s) of a protracted sexual assault and […]

Ellen Rock, ‘Government Liability and the Will of Parliament’

ABSTRACT Government liability in tort has long presented difficulties for the common law, particularly when it comes to the exercise of statutory powers. The courts have grappled with difficult questions regarding the extent to which common law liability can be superimposed on a statutory function, adopting various common law tools in the attempt to confine […]

Sandy Steel, ‘Public Authority Liability for Careless Failure to Protect from Harm’

ABSTRACT This article considers the UK Supreme Court decision in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police. It explains the significance of the decision in terms of its affirmation of the principle that public authorities, in the case, the police, are subject to the same duties of care as private individuals in the tort […]

Sarah Swan, ‘Beltran-Serrano v City of Tacoma

ABSTRACT In Tacoma, Washington, on a late June afternoon in 2013, a police officer brutally shot an unarmed, mentally-ill, middle-aged homeless man four times in the back with a Glock 45. He was not a suspect in any criminal wrongdoing, and horrified eyewitnesses confirmed that he was not posing a threat to anyone, including the […]

Dorothea Anthony, ‘Resolving UN Torts in US Courts: Georges v United Nations

ABSTRACT This article concerns the recent case of Georges v United Nations, which constitutes, to date, the most elaborate public law challenge to the principle of UN immunity from suit and private law attempt at procuring compensation from the UN for alleged malfeasance. Despite the fact that it relates to people and events in Haiti, […]