Damage caused by an association leader: who is responsible?

Verified 02 November 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

If the head of an association causes damage by his act and in the course of his duties to a third party (person outside the association), it is in principle the association as legal person who is civilly liable.

The same applies if the director causes damage to a member of the association. It is the association that compensates the victim for the damages she has suffered.

However, the personal responsibility of the director may be sought if it is established that did not mention acting on behalf of and on behalf of the association, or that he committed a breach detachable from office.

A fault detachable from duties is a fault committed intentionally and a special seriousness incompatible with the normal performance of the duties of a director.

Example :

an association which does not take out the compulsory insurance linked to its activity.

The personal responsibility of the director may also be sought if he acts outside its remit or outside the objects of the association.

Example :

a recreation association that will make real estate investments.

The Association, as legal person, may be criminally responsible if its leader commits on his behalf, one crime or a offense.

The criminal liability of the leader, as the perpetrator or accomplice of the wrongdoing, may also be engaged.

Thus, if the accident is caused by a crime or a crime, the association and/or its leader can be criminally prosecuted.

Example :

The leader committed a traffic violation using the association's car.

In this case, the association will be civilly liable and/or criminally liable and the leader will also be criminally prosecuted as the perpetrator.


associations may have more or less obligations depending on their purpose (e.g. sports associations have a security obligation towards their members). As such, they must take out insurance to cover their civil liability.

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