Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (HL Bill 47 of 2014–15)

The Social Responsibility, Action and Heroism Bill (the SARAH Bill) sets out various factors that the court “must have regard to” in determining the steps a defendant was required to take to meet a standard of care in claims for negligence or breach of statutory duty.

It was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 4 June 2014 that a bill would be brought forward “to provide that where a person acts heroically, responsibly or for the benefit of others, this will be taken into account by the courts”. The Social Responsibility, Action and Heroism Bill (the SARAH Bill) sets out various factors that the court “must have regard to” in determining the steps a defendant was required to take to meet a standard of care in claims for negligence or breach of statutory duty. The Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons without amendment and is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 4 November 2014.

This Library Note examines the background to the Bill, including the current legal framework; provides an overview of the Bill’s provisions; and summarises proceedings on the Bill in the House of Commons.