Personal Liabilities (Liabilities and Damage) Act Amendments
The Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Amendment Act 2022 (Amendment Act) was passed in the Legislative Assembly on 19 May 2022 and assented to on 2 June 2022.
The Amendment Act amends the Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act 2003 (the Act) to:
- introduce a scheme to govern civil claims by offenders in custody against the Territory (Parts 2 and 5 of the Act);
- make changes to the annual declaration of the maximum amount of damages for non-pecuniary loss (Part 3 of the Act); and
- give effect to civil litigation reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RCIRCSA) in its Redress and Civil Litigation Report (Part 4 of the Act).
Parts 2 and 5 of the Amendment Act introduces a scheme ‘Damages awarded to offenders’ that govern civil claims by offenders in custody against the Territory, and establishes a trust for damages to be made available for victim payments. Part 2 commenced on 3 June 2022. Part 5 is anticipated to commence on 1 January 2023.
Part 3 of the Amendment Act amends section 27 of the PILDA to repeal the annual declaration providing for the maximum amount of damages a court may award for non-pecuniary loss under the PILDA. Section 27 now provides that the maximum amount that may be awarded is 680 000 monetary units. Section 28, which provided for a declaration on 30 September each year was repealed. See Legislation Database (nt.gov.au) and Monetary units | Department of the Attorney-General and Justice for the current dollar value of a monetary unit. Part 3 commenced on 3 June 2022.
Part 4 of the Amendment Act implements RCIRCSA recommendations providing for institutional liability for child abuse. This includes introducing a statutory duty of care to prevent child abuse, establishing liability of institutions for child abuse by certain individuals associated with the institution or by a child in the care of the institution, and the vicarious liability of institutions for child abuse. Part 4 also provides for the nomination of proper respondents and for the continuity of institutions for claims for personal injury arising from child abuse.
The amendments apply to institutions that exercise care, supervision or authority over a child.
Part 4 will commence on 1 January 2023.
Three factsheets providing information of the new statutory duty of, vicarious liability and proper respondent/continuity of institutions are provided below to assist institutions in understanding what the amendments might mean for them.
Fact sheet 1 (Statutory Duty of Care) - A statutory duty of care to prevent child abuse is being established through amendment to the Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act 2003 (PILDA).
Fact sheet 2 (Civil Litigation Reform) - Vicarious liability is a situation where one party is held responsible for unlawful actions of a third party.
Fact sheet 3 (Proper Respondent and Continuity of Institutions) - The Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act 2003 (PILDA) has made a number of changes, including the nomination of a proper respondent, the continuity of institutions and proceedings for unincorporated institutions.
Last updated: 02 November 2022
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