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Changes Brought by Occupiers Liability Act to the Common Law - Essay Example

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Occupiers Liability law refers to the liabilities that are owed to the visitors and trespassers of a premise or related property. This law imposes a duty of care on the owner of a property to the person who goes to the premise. …
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Changes Brought by Occupiers Liability Act to the Common Law
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Download file to see previous pages The common law of negligence initially applied in cases relating to those who suffered damages while in one’s premise. However, this was to the extent that the claimant proved that a duty of care was owed to him or her under the common law of negligence. However, the common law of negligence had inconsistencies owing to differences in court rulings under the similar set of facts. It also proved less relaxed in holding the owners of premises liable, often for lack of duty of care, more so to visitors and trespassers. These formed the foundation of a legislative intervention The Occupiers liability Acts being enacted. As of now, the law concerning such liability in the United Kingdoms is mostly found in the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 (regarding visitors) while that regarding the non-visitors is largely found Occupiers Liability Act 1984. In as much as the law to a large extent codified common law, the cases have to be relied upon in determining the meaning of “occupier” and the line between a “visitor” and a “trespasser” or a non visitor. According to the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 the occupier only owes a duty of care to the lawful visitors. This duty is similarly owed to the lawfully visitors either to or to on the premise. It is worth noting that the occupiers rather than the owners of the premise retain the liability to compensate the victims injured on the premises as a result of their dangerous state. Sufficient or effective degree of control is used to determine the occupation of the premise. For that reason, one must not necessarily need to be the actual owner of a premise for him or her to be considered the occupier. He may owe the duty if he exercises a substantial extent of control in which case he owes this duty to all lawful visitors with the only exceptions specified in the agreement. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 does not imposes this duty of care on the occupier towards the visitors of the premises; rather it is towards the non visitors, essentially understood as a trespasser. A trespasser for that matter is anybody who goes into the land in another person’s possession intentionally without obtaining a lawful authorization. Taking an example of a theatre, any member of the public who happens to be admitted there is a visitor and the occupier of the theatre owes them a duty of care. The theatre ticket they are issued with serves a license which bears with it an agreement not to be revoked till the end of the performance. As such this is a sufficient authorization (Hurst v Picture Theatres Ltd (1915) 1 KB 1 CA). The extent of liability was traditionally based on whether or not one was a visitor. The question asked then is, who is a visitor? Generally speaking, at common law it was important to know the difference between licensees, invitees and the premise ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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