Restating the common law? The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015
The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 entered into force on 13 April 2015. It is too soon for it to have been considered judicially, and it has not yet been subjected to sustained academic analysis. Accordingly, this article considers its impact. In doing so, it situates the Act in its social context and draws attention to the fact that it is part of a large network of statutes that share the same objectives. It is argued, contrary to prevailing views, that parts of the Act change the law. It is also maintained that the Act’s reach is not confined to personal injury cases or even to tort cases. It potentially applies far more widely, including to contractual actions that allege a failure to take reasonable care. In addition to analysing the Act, this article investigates why the legislature might want to restate the common law (which is what the Act does in part), whether replicating the common law is desirable and, if the legislature is bent on restating the common law, how it should go about doing so.