Dr Bandey’s E-Safety Clinic: Law of Negligence as modified by the Doctrine of Allurements

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    Last Updated2nd September 2015

    'In last month’s article I discussed the Legal Obligations that arise under the Law of Negligence when a school gives its pupils access to the Internet and the school’s ICT.

    This month I will be examining the ‘Threshold of Liability’ for the liable party (I’ll just use the term ‘School’ here to denote that party – but it might be the LA, Board of Governors, IT Security Manager, Headteacher, Teacher) in the context of the legal fact that the Law of Negligence recognises that children are less careful than adults and are likely to do mischief to themselves and to others. This is known as the Doctrine of Allurements and is extraordinarily relevant to modern e-Safety and the level at which the School’s ‘Duty of Care’ for e-Safety is set.
    Perhaps the most important case that really clearly sets down the duty owed to children in respect of what the Law calls ‘Allurements’ and ‘Traps’ is where the House of Lords (then the highest Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom) dealt with the case of a young boy who suffered spinal injuries when playing on an abandoned boat.'