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Armes v Nottinghamshire CC [2017] UKSC 60

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 07/08/2023 23:06

Judgement for the case Armes v Nottinghamshire CC

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  • Using the principles established in Cox v Ministry of Justice, the local authority bears vicarious liability for the actions of the foster parents.
  • In relation to the above principle, the foster parents were not engaged in their own separate business, and it is difficult to clearly differentiate between the actions of the local authority and those of the foster parents. Therefore, the abuse inflicted by the foster parents upon the claimant occurred while they were engaged in an activity carried out for the benefit of the local authority.


  • The local authority placed the appellant into foster care with Mr and Mrs A who physically, emotionally, and sexually abused her.
  • Appellant sued the local authority on the ground that they were in breach of a non-delegable duty or that they were vicariously liable for the wrongdoings perpetrated by the foster parents.


  • The Supreme Court's ruling expands the scope of liability and underscores the importance of considering the nature of relationships between parties when determining vicarious liability. This decision reflects the evolving understanding of vicarious liability and aims to protect vulnerable individuals who are in the care of institutions or organizations.
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