Landslide Risk Management: Legal Issues For Local Government, Advisers And Land Owners

Amanda Nicholls

Landslides and subsidence are issues which clearly affect local authorities, professional advisers such as engineers and architects as well as land owners. What perhaps is not as commonly known is the extent of the legal issues which affect these classes of people. Wherever damage or life loss or injury occurs, there will always be issues of liability, and it is at this point in time that scrutiny is placed on authorities approving development, those who design the development, and those who own it.

In this paper, I will broadly canvass the legal issues facing these classes. There is a large body of law spanning the obligations of local authorities, professionals and land owners which I do not propose to consider here. Instead, I will focus on those issues of which individuals need to be aware when considering any individual situation in relation to a site where landslide risk management may be an issue.