In UK there are three main sources of English law, Legislation (Statue Law), Common Law (Judge-made Law) and the European Communities law. Pg 41, Longshaw, (2002) The purpose of this report is to explain the basis of Common made Law and also to explain duty of care, negligence, trespass, and consent. I will also look at how specific legislations instruct health care practitioners as to their legal responsibilities. Statute Law
Legislation however, is probably the most important source of law in the UK. Legislation developed later than common law as a major source of law. It is made by Parliament, i.e. the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarch and they can make or unmake any law. Proposals for legislation ('Bills') are presented to debate by and voted upon by the House of Common and the House of Lords, finally receiving the assent of the Monarch and thus becoming Acts (Statutes) of Parliament. Common Law
Common law forms a major part of England's law. It covers common crimes that happen on a day to day basis and have always existed such as rape, assault, murder and theft. It is created and refined by judges: a decision in a currently pending legal case depends on decisions in previous cases and affects how the law is applied in future cases. Common law evolves with time and the sentencing for various crimes can be made harsher or softer. It uses the idea of precedence so that punishments that have been passed before in similar crimes can be used to determine the punishment for a similar crime. When there is no authoritative statement of the law, judges have the authority and duty to make law by creating precedent. (Jokinen, 2009) A precedence of common law is set down by Lord Atkins through the Donaghue vs. Stevenson case. There are two types of precedents: binding precedents (a past decision which is binding - the legal point of the earlier case is identical or sufficiently similar to the present one and the decision was rendered by a higher court) or persuasive precedents (which the court may consider but is not bound to follow) Sources of persuasive precedent may also be the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the European Court of Human Rights or courts of countries which also apply the common law. Duty of Care
In English law an individual is owed a duty of care by another, to ensure that they do not suffer unreasonable harm or loss. This definition of duty of care known today came from Lord Atkin and the 'Neighbour Principle' that came from the judgment on the Donaghue vs. Stevenson case in 1932. The Donaghue verses Stevenson is the case of Mrs Donaghue claiming damages from gastroenteritis after drinking a bottle of ginger beer and finding a decomposing snail in it. She was claiming damages against Mr. Stevenson the manufactures of the ginger beer. When this case first came to court neither Scottish law nor British common law saw duty of care in regards to someone remotely connected. Lord Atkins changed things by saying everyone has a duty of care to their neighbour here is a quote of what the legal definition of a neighbour should be. "The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer's question "Who is my neighbour?" receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee and would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who then in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question." (Lord Atkins, 1932) When this duty of care is not acted upon this s called negligence. Negligence
Negligence is a tort law, which establishes legal liability for careless actions or inaction which causes injury. Therefore negligence is not concerned with the action or...
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