This report addresses the issue of whether inter-spousal tort immunity should be abolished. It addresses the present state of the law in Alberta, other common law provinces of Canada, and other Commonwealth countries. It assesses arguments for retaining interspousal tort immunity, and looks particularly at the reasons for domestic harmony, collusion, indirect benefit from own wrongful conduct, and subrogation. This report concludes that there is no merit in placing any restriction upon the type of case in which a tort action can be brought between spouses and that the right to bring a tort action should be dependent upon their previous separation. Interspousal tort immunity should be abolished with no special provision for a stay of proceedings.
This report recommends that the Married Women’s Act be amended so that each of the parties to the marriage has the same right of action in tort against the other as if they were not married. The Alberta Hospitals Act be amended so that “Where a person suffers personal injuries as a result of a wrongful act or omission of another person who is not his spouse and becomes a beneficiary…” This report recommends that amendments are made to the Contributory Negligence Act, and Alberta Insurance Act as outlined by this report.