Vicarious liability for sexual abuse committed by priests

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In this specific case, the judge ruled that there was a total absence of any “employment relationship” between the Vatican and and the priest who committed the abuse.

This is another example from the ongoing litigation between victims of abuse and the Catholic Church, which for years has turned a blind eye or covered up the abuse of children. Pinning liability on the Vatican is something of a "Holy Grail" in this area of the law, and it is understood that the District Court's decision will be appealed.

This year, in JGE v English Province the English Court of Appeal held that a priest who had abused children at home, whilst working for the Diocese could make his employers liable for the abuse.


Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor - Personal Injury team

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