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Communities Benefit from Court Decisions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 February 2009

Roy Amlot QC, past Chair, The Bar Council, addressed members on

 “Changes in Law of Compensation in Sport, Play, Education, Recreation and Communities”. 

 

“Teachers, sports instructors and workers with our children and young people, including parents, are at the heart of UK society and all our futures.  Freedom to explore, to experience and to take healthy risks has been under threat for many years. ARISc, which championed the 2006 Compensation Act now wishes to update members on the recent legal cases which have changed substantially how we can better support our adventurous, enterprising society.”

Julian Brazier TD MP Frank Dobson MP Lembit Opik MP,  Co-Chairs  ‘ARISc’ and Lords Erroll, Chorley, Haworth invited members of both houses to the All Party Parliamentary Group ‘ARISc’ – Adventure and Recreation in Society 5pm Wednesday 11th February 2009, in Westminster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Amlot QC, past Chair, The Bar Council, addressed members on

 

 

 “Changes in Law of Compensation in Sport, Play, Education, Recreation and Communities”. 

 

 

 

 

 

“Teachers, sports instructors and workers with our children and young people, including parents, are at the heart of UK society and all our futures.  Freedom to explore, to experience and to take healthy risks has been under threat for many years. ARISc, which championed the 2006 Compensation Act now wishes to update members on the recent legal cases which have changed substantially how we can better support our adventurous, enterprising society.”

 

 


 

 

Mr Amlot’s presentation made reference to recent cases emphasising how appellate courts have clarified  the importance of protecting the right of individuals to experience adventure and take risks, provided the risk involves only the risk-taker. He said there was ample evidence of support for personal freedoms which should not be restricted and that self responsibility should be celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

Some cases show how the obviousness of the risk is central to a case.  An important measure is that it should be voluntary and obvious to a reasonable person – age, maturity and mental ability are factors.  This is based on the individual having choice, even when a payment is present. Where risk is so obvious, it would be tragic to impose restrictions on all.

 

 

 

 

 

Attention was called to the booklet ‘Managing Risk in Children’s Play’ indicating that a clear picture of benefit should exist alongside the clear picture of risks. This is a call for Risk and Benefit Assessments!  Campaign for Adventure supporter, Professor John Adams, said “I am in favour of the risk and benefit approach, but not of the paperwork it could generate!”.  It was confirmed that a clear defence is where a public benefit is intended or exists for our culture and society at large, and this defence would be strengthened where the benefit was understood, clarified or was obvious in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Amlot said the decisions have shown there is nothing wrong with children playing alone and that supervision had to be realistic, not excessive.  Where children are concerned the duty of care continues, but several cases make clear: “Children playing by themselves is subject to a dearth of judgement, but an unreasonably high standard of care is not sought, demanded or expected, because it will reduce access to freedoms and fun of society at large.”  He continued: “Giving young people a legal outlet for their energies is an important benefit to society.”

 

 

 

 

 

Further details of this discussion is available from Ian Lewis, CfA, www.campaignforadventure.org 0845 345 7423

 

 

During the debate that followed it was noted that managers often fail to trust enough, causing additional safety to be built in to that which is justified.  A number of moves had been made to better support trust in our society, so avoiding unnecessary procedures and monitoring.

 

 

 


 

 
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