Scientific advice to government: legal liability

Guidance for scientists providing advice to the government on their legal liability.



Following the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, 6 scientists and former government officials were prosecuted for providing negligent advice. This raised concerns as to whether scientists providing advice to the UK government could face any similar risk of prosecution.

This legal advice explains the liability of government scientists for providing science advice. It covers scientists providing advice to the government, whether or not they are employed by government.

Please note this is not a definitive statement of the law as this can only be provided by the courts.