Not Good News

To: <>
Subject: Not Good News
From: "Murray Lord" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2013 14:13:34 +1000

A document could be crafted which should protect a landowner, if it contained 
an acknowledgment by the birder that they are entering at their own risk, and 
will not sue the landowner for anything including negligence.  If you were 
trying to protect the landowner as much as possible the birder could agree to 
indemnify the landowner for any loss or liability they suffer as a direct 
result of the birder entering the land (though query whether it’s reasonable 
for the birder to have to do so).

Of course one can never say this would mean the landowner “can’t be sued” – it 
would give them a strong defence against an action by the birder and might mean 
the birder had to cover the landowner’s legal costs, if someone was silly 
enough to try suing after signing such a document. 

There were changes to tort law about a decade ago designed to prevent people 
being liable for injuries for “obvious risk”.  So the idea that a landowner can 
be held liable for a birder breaking their ankle in a random rabbit hole in the 
outback doesn’t stack up.  On the other hand, if there was blatant negligence 
(e.g. the landowner sets a whole lot of illegal traps right where he knows 
birders are going and doesn’t warn them and someone gets badly hurt), then it 
might be questionable if the landowner could rely on something the birder 
signed to absolve him of all liability.

The point Ian raised about people having a right to enter pastoral leases is 
interesting and worth looking into some more.  Anyone know if this particular 
site is freehold or pastoral lease?

There also seem to be some misconceptions about insurance.  If a university / 
bird club / bird tour company has public liability insurance it will only cover 
the university / bird club / bird tour company’s liability.  It wouldn’t 
protect the owner of land they happened to be on at the time.


Murray Lord


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU