The Governments Heroism Bill
The Government is introducing a bill before parliament which aims to allow would be heroes and volunteers to act without fear of being sued.
The bill has been subject to criticism in the legal profession as it is felt good Samaritans have nothing to fear from the current law.
We support the aim and objective of encouraging people to act for the good of society without fear of reprisal but do not consider that extra legislation is required.
At the end of the day focus should be on educating the public and volunteers that taking part in activities for the good of society does not generally involve the individual accepting liability if something goes wrong.
Most well organised groups such as the Scout Association are well insured and their leaders are well trained. If you join such an organisation you can become trained and learn how to reduce the risk of something going wrong. None of us want to see our children go off on school trips or trips with youth organisations and coming back injured and the best thing the Government can do is to support youth organisations to educate their volunteers in good health and safety practices. Perhaps the money could be better spent in that way than through a further act of parliament.
Matthew Winder, Senior Director, Clarkson Hirst Solicitors based at Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow