Brodie v Singleton Shire Council [2001] HCA 29 | 31 May 2001

ON THIS DAY in 2001, the High Court of Australia delivered Brodie v Singleton Shire Council ; Ghantous v Hawkesbury City Council[2001] HCA 29; (2001) 206 CLR 512.

“Negligence – Highways – Injuries to user of highway – Liability of highway authority – Whether immunity under the “highway rule” – Distinction between misfeasance and non-feasance.

Negligence – Duty of care – Statutory authority – Highway authority – Content of duty of care – Relevant considerations.

Negligence and nuisance – Whether nuisance in relation to public authorities subsumed by the law of negligence.

Highways – Negligence and nuisance – Immunity under “highway rule” – Misfeasance and non-feasance – Whether liability subsumed in general principles of negligence.

Precedent – Stare decisis – High Court – Departure from previous decisions – Relevant considerations.

Words and phrases – “highway rule” – “immunity”.

Local Government Act 1919 (NSW), ss 220-277B.”

The ruling abolished the common law immunity of highway authorities from liability for injury, loss or damage caused by their own non-feasance in Australia.

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