Seminar: The Changing Nature of Occupiers’ Liability: New Considerations for Designers, Security Professionals, Government and the Law

Date: 29 July 2019
Time: 1:30-2:30pm
Venue: Moot Court, Ligertwood Building, Adelaide Law School

Beginning in the United States and expanding across western democracies, courts increasingly are holding property owners and managers responsible for damages their occupants experienced due to crime and violence unfolding on their properties. Irrespective if a property is intended for broad public use (e.g., transit stations, libraries, shopping malls, recreation centres, etc.) or has restricted access (e.g., private office buildings, power utility stations, shipyards, etc.), today’s property owners must take reasonable and prudent steps to predict possible criminal threats to their occupants –– in turn implementing appropriate countermeasures to these threats. Moreover, property owners must also ensure they have security policies, practices, personnel, and technologies that allow incidents of crime and violence to be near instantly detected and quickly responded to. Simply, as a result of Occupiers’ Liability cases increasingly including damages being awarded due to crimes not being detected or responded quick enough, property owners must seriously consider how they design and secure their properties.

To this end, traditional design out crime and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) approach and strategies are fast becoming obsolete, resulting in a growing need for more standardized, scholarly-informed, and evidence-based methods being developed. Simply, the changing legal landscape across western democracies, combined with increasing attention and concerns surrounding public safety, security, and crime prevention manes that property developers, urban planners, landscape architects, architects, and interior designers, together with security consultants and the police, must work collaboratively in the securing of both public and private built environments.

Dr. Kelly W. Sundberg is a Criminologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, Adjunct Professor in the Adelaide Law School at the University of Adelaide, and Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Kelly holds his Doctor of Philosophy in Political and Social Inquiry (Criminology) from Monash University, Master of Arts in Justice and Public Safety Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Victoria. In 2018 Kelly was qualified by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench as an expert on matters relating to crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), physical security, and police response.

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