The ABC reports that litigation arising from the 2003 Canberra fires starts in the ACT Supreme Court today, Monday 1 March 2010. Read the story here.

This litigation will be very significant in determining the legal duty of care owed by fire agencies and governments to the communities they are established to protect, as well as what may reasonably be expected from them in extreme events. The trial is listed for 12 weeks and there the judge will need to weigh through the evidence in order to determine the legal issues.

It is my prediction that regardless of the result, there is likely to be appeals so a final answer to some critical questions may well be some time off.

Michael Eburn
1 March 2010.