Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018]

Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4 is a landmark case in English tort law that deals with the issue of whether a duty of care exists in situations involving the police and members of the public.

The case involved an elderly woman who was injured by two police officers attempting to arrest a suspect. The woman claimed that the police owed her a duty of care not to be put in danger.

The Supreme Court found that the police did owe a duty of care in this case, rejecting the proposition from Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1987] that the police would never owe a duty of care. The court held that the police would be liable for negligence where such liability would be present under ordinary tort principles.

The case also clarified the approach to be taken when determining whether a duty of care exists. The court rejected the two-stage test from Anns v Merton LBC [1978] and the three-part test from Caparo v Dickman [1990] and instead advocated for an approach based on common law, precedent, and the incremental development of the law. In novel cases, where established principles or previous cases did not already establish whether there would be a duty of care, the court would be entitled to go beyond these principles to decide whether to find one.

Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police clarified the liability of the police to members of the public and established a new approach to determining whether a duty of care exists. The case is considered one of the most important cases in 2018 in English law.
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