Bereavement Damages: a Dis-United Kingdom

This is the title of a report published yesterday by APIL which examines the different approaches to bereavement damages across the UK, an issue we had covered in detail last March in this post.

As is well-known, the use of statutory amounts of damages and closed classes of eligible claimants in England & Wales and in Northern Ireland contrasts with a broader, subjective approach in Scotland where higher awards are often made to members of a deceased’s extended family. It is no surprise that the report calls for some levelling up of the laws, but what is new is the level of public support it purports to show for change, with around 70% of some 2,000 respondents to YouGov surveys regarding the statutory levels as too low and supporting a more subjective approach.

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Limitation as a matter for the applicable law: latest decision

In cross-border litigation, the Rome II Regulation – which still applies in the UK, although now as “retained EU law” – provides that the applicable law shall govern matters such as liability and quantum as well as “the manner in which an obligation may be extinguished and rules of prescription and limitation, including rules relating to the commencement, interruption and suspension of a period of prescription or limitation” (article 15(h) of the Regulation).

How this works where the limitation process or period also includes requirements about service – which is generally regarded as procedural and something for the law of the forum (ie the court with jurisdiction) rather than for the substantive applicable law – was examined recently in Johnson v Berentzen, a road traffic claim pursued in England by an English resident claimant against a German resident defendant and relating to an accident in Scotland.

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Concussion in sport: They thought it was all over… is it now?

On 27 April, the Digital Media Culture and Sport Select Committee (DMCSSC) reconvened for a third oral hearing to address concussion in sport, the recording of which can be accessed here.  Originally planned to be a two hearing process, this latest session appears to have been convened at the request of the witnesses. Their evidence was taken in two panel sessions, the first involving player representatives:

  • Damian Hopley MBE, Chief Executive at The Rugby Players Association
  • Paul Struthers, Director at Professional Players Federation
  • Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive at Professional Footballers Association

and the second involving specialist clinicians:

  • Dr John Etherington CBE, Medical Director & Consultant Rheumatologist at Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK
  • Dr Richard Sylvester, Consultant Neurologist at Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health
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