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APIL Abuse Special Interest Group: Fostering & Consent


Patrick Sadd spoke at a recent meeting of the APIL Abuse SIG (13.10.2016) on two areas: Fostering: vicarious liability and non-delegable duties and on Consent as defence in cases of historical sexual abuse.


With the case of NA v Nottingham County Council coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court in January 2017, Patrick reviewed the decision at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, analysing the courts’ bases in rejecting the Claimant’s arguments that the relationship between foster parents and a local authority was akin to an employee/employer relationship so as to impose vicarious liability on a local authority for abuse perpetrated by foster parents on children fostered in their care.

He also considered the courts’ rejection of the imposition of a non-delegable duty of care on the local authority, finding that it was not fair, just or reasonable to do so. His presentation looked closely at the extent of control exercised by a local authority in reality and whether this equated in fact to the macro model of control suggested by the Court of Appeal.

He considered whether the imposition of a non-delegable duty would in fact lead to ‘defensive’ fostering and undermine the provision of fostering as a social mechanism for the provision of family life to children in the care of the state.


Patrick also looked at the fraught issue of consent raised as a defence in claims for compensation for historical sexual abuse. He reviewed the 2015 case of JL v Bowen & SA in which grooming was identified as negating consent in a relationship between an adolescent and a priest.

He also looked at the cases of teachers and others abusing positions of trust both before and after the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

To find out how Patrick is able to help with this area of law, contact or view Patrick’s profile here.

Barristers: Patrick Sadd
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