Do We Really Need the Anns Test for Duty of Care in Negligence?


  • Joost Blom Professor, Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia.



Since its formal adoption in 1984, the Supreme Court of Canada has applied the Anns test

31 times. This article uses those decisions to assess the test’s value in negligence law. Based

on that analysis, the Anns test has two disadvantages: (1) it treats dissimilar duty questions

as if they were alike; and (2) it can divert courts into an Anns analysis when a more direct

approach to duty of care would be better. However, despite its disadvantages, three decades

of continued use by the Supreme Court makes it unlikely that the Anns test will be

abandoned anytime soon.