In 1946, the Federal Tort Claims Act defined the government's tort responsibilities. The act also included what has been called the discretionary exemption which applied to planning and policy level decisions. In effect, the act says that where there is room for policy judgment and decision, there is discretion. One basic intent of discretionary immunity is to keep the judicial branch from second guessing, by way of torts, the legislative and administrative policies that are rooted in social, economic, and political policy. Discretionary immunity is an exemption whose purpose was to protect the government from liability that would seriously handicap and deter the efficient operation of the government. It was not long after the 1946 federal act that states began to follow the national model and devise Tort Claims Acts of their own, each with discretionary immunity from torts for design and planning-level decisions. The principles of discretionary immunity are examined in an article by David C. Oliver in the October, 1989 issue of ITE Journal. Oliver reports on changes in the ways discretionary immunity has been tried in courts for the last twenty years. His article is briefly summarized here.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    TranSafety, Incorporated

    5811 Oak Leather Drive
    Burke, VA  United States  22015
  • Publication Date: 1989-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 3
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 7
    • Issue Number: 11
    • Publisher: TranSafety, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0884-612X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00489997
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1989 12:00AM