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Title: Protecting Volunteers - Presentation to the Victoria State Emergency Service: 12th September 2008
Contributor(s): Eburn, Michael Ernest (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: In considering how we should 'protect volunteers' from legal action, I want to look at the issue from a risk management perspective. If we consider the risk of legal action as just another risk, we can apply the Emergency Risk Management process. ... If volunteers feel at risk of legal proceedings, the problem is not really in the law. The volunteer protection clauses do work as volunteers are not sued and no-one wants to sue them anyway. The problem is with the perception of and beliefs about the law. This is however largely anecdotal and deserves more research. To this end it would be useful to actually survey volunteers and former volunteers to see what they think their legal position is and whether fear of litigation stops them taking on command and control roles or contributed to their decision to stop volunteering. Once their fears have been identified then working out what is needed to put their minds at ease could be achieved. Volunteers and ESOs need to accept however, that the legal system is one way our community holds all people accountable. It may be expensive, unreliable and inefficient but it is hard to make a special case that ESOs should be exempt its provisions when no-one else is. The reality of the environment that ESOs operate in is part of the environment that will be considered by the courts and the law, but is not reason for a blanket exemption.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Joint meeting of the Victoria State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority, Melbourne, Australia, 12 September 2008
Source of Publication: Joint meeting of the Victoria State Emergency Service and Country Fire Authority. Melbourne, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 180126 Tort Law
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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