The history of encoded precedent
- 1862 – Chief Justice Cockburn & later Lord Thankerton in the House of Lords encode common law precedent into standard legislation
- A clear distinction arises between delegable & personal responsibility
- The problem had always existed how to define the delegation of authority & responsibility to employees who have no or little control over decisions made in their workplace
- If responsibility could not be delegated then to what extent does an employer remain liable for enacting their duty of care?
Q & A:
|What connection is there between this information and that found in legislation?||Managers & supervisors are agents of the employer|
|What principle is involved?||A clear directive and classification of duty with distinctions on the extent of liability|
Defining the interpretation of care & responsibility
- Whether the employer performs this duty themselves or through an agent (servants) a failure to ensure the duty is performed becomes the employer’s negligence.
- This includes acts and omissions.
- Therefore, Lord Shaw stated (1912):
- Employers must provide competent staff
- Adequate materials, premises, plant & equipment
- Proper systems of work
- Effective supervision
Q & A:
|What connection is there between the 1912 definition and current legislation?||Codification of Common Law|
|What principle is involved?||Vicarious liability. An incident resulting in injury with a causal link to breaches of the 4 principles above immediately places the employer in a position of liability|