Originally Posted by hinault
George Pell is correct.
If an organisation has undertaken every policy and every procedure to try to prevent something from happening, and subsequently something happens, then that organisation cannot be held directly responsible.
In terms of vicarious liability, which is what we are talking about here, you are wrong. Even where an organisation has done absolutely sverything possible, they can still be held liable.
Have a look at this case:
Century Insurance Co Ltd v Northern Ireland Road Transport Board
It is a case from the forties and is still good law in vicarious liability. This is about a petrol tanker driver that like to smoke whilst delivering fuel. Smoking whilst delivering thousands of litres of fuel was against company policy. There were signs to this effect and staff training reenforced this idea. Additionally, this driver had been previously warned for smoking and had received additional training. When he, enevitably, set a filling station on fire his employer was held liable.
Vicarious liability is not necessarily about holding the factually
correct person or organisation liable, sometime it is, probably for public policy reasons, holding the person or organisation best able to handle the Liability responsible.
In the case of finding the church liable for the misdeeds of its priests it seems that in many cases, due to their behaviour in covering up the acts, moving offenders and not reporting matters to the police, it seems more than appropriate that they be held liable. There seems little reason to need to fall back on a public policy argument for liability. They said, the public policy justification is also good. A priest is unlikely to ha e the kind of money needed to adequated compensate his rape victim, particularly as many of them were quite prolific with their rapes. Holding the wider organisation liable means that, with the obvious outrageous exception of Ireland, victims will be able to secure compensation from the church, rather than the tax-payer. Everyone's a winner.