High Court of Australia

Prince Alfred College Incorporated v ADC [2016] HCA 37

5 Oct 2016

Case Number: A20/2016


French CJ, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon JJ


Limitation of actions – Extension or postponement of limitation periods – Extension of time in personal injury matters – Principles upon which discretion exercised – Where extraordinary delay – Where deficiencies in evidence due to passage of time – Where absence or death of witnesses – Where loss of documentary evidence – Where earlier decision by claimant not to institute proceedings – Whether just in all the circumstances to grant extension of time.

Tort – Vicarious liability – Course of employment – Where boarding school employed housemaster – Where housemaster sexually abused boarder – Consideration of correct approach to vicarious liability of employer for intentional criminal acts of employee – Whether employment gave "occasion" for wrongdoing – Whether employee placed in special position vis-à-vis victim – Whether features of special position warrant finding of liability.

Procedure – Courts and judges generally – Determination of issues – Whether appropriate for trial judge to determine all litigated issues.

Words and phrases – "authority", "close connection", "control", "course or scope of employment", "extension of time", "extraordinary delay", "fair and just", "intimacy", "occasion", "opportunity", "power", "special features", "special position", "trust", "vicarious liability".

Limitation of Actions Act 1936 (SA) – s 48.

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