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Repeal the Occupiers Liability Act 1984

Comment 2nd August 2010

To repeal the Occupiers Liability Act 1984

Why does this matter?

The Occupiers Liability Act provides that the occupier of a property owes a duty of care to protect trespassers from anything dangerous on the property, including criminals.

Criminals can sue if they, while committing a burgalry, fall through fragile roofs or trip on uneven site roadways.

While occupiers should have a duty to protect lawful visitors, to have to protect criminals is a nonsense. Criminals should enter a property at their own risk and if they are cut on razor wire, fall into effluent pits or down unguarded mineshifts, so be it. This law is a reflection of the attitudes of the permissive society whose values are now entrenched in the political nation and our professional classes.

An occupier should not be held liable forn what happens to people who should not be there.

The law was brought in to reflect the rule in a House of Lords case, Hetherington V British Railways Board, which involved a child being injured on a railway line. The child should not have been on the railway line and the House of Lords was wrong – people should go to places they are not supposed to at their own risk.

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