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Crown Proceedingsactions by and against the Crown. Prior to the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 special procedures had to be used against the Crown. They were difficult for the claimant. Contractual actions had to proceed by way of petition of right and in tort, and because of the doctrine that the king could do no wrong, there was no liability unless admitted ex gratia on a case-by-case basis. Now proceedings may be brought by ordinary civil action. The Crown is liable for torts and delicts committed by its servants or agents acting in the general course of their functions and for breach of duties owed as employers or occupiers. The Crown will not be held liable for damages unless expressly bound or bound by necessary implication. In 1987 the Crown became liable to members of the armed forces. An action must be raised against the authorized department, failing which the attorney general. European law has created independent heads of action against the Crown, permitting injunctions against the Crown in some circumstances, and a general right to claim for damages for a failure to comply with European law.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006