Mrs Robinson Fails To Seduce The Court Of Appeal

Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Court of Appeal, 2014


The appellant, whilst walking down a public street, became caught up in the arrest of a drug dealer and was knocked to the ground and injured. Police officers had sought to detain a suspect in the street but the suspect put up such resistance that the group moved up the street and involved the claimant. Robinson brought a claim against the police, arguing that they owed her a duty of care in negligence.


The Court of Appeal dismissed the claimant's arguments.

Hallet LJ clarified that although the test for negligence given in Caparo v Dickman [1990] 2 A.C. 605 applies to all cases, there are cases where it will not be fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty where the interests of the public at large may outweigh the interests of the individual allegedly wronged.

It was reiterated, following the case of Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1989] A.C. 53 that there was a need to prevent defensive policing and to protect the public. It would fundamentally undermine that objective to hold the police liable for direct but not indirect acts and would encourage the police to avoid positive action for the fear of being...

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