New legislative programmes expected in Westminster and Edinburgh

The decision to prorogue Parliament (Westminster) will lead to a ‘wash up’ of outstanding Bills, in which those which haven’t fully completed the legislative process are likely to be lost.

In reality, however, Parliamentary activity beyond Brexit has been pretty thin for the last few months, with very few unresolved Bills touching on civil litigation and insurance. One of passing interest is the Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill which provides the necessary framework for moving some civil and family disputes to an online setting. Given that this important project has already had one legislative false start – via the Prison & Courts Bill which was ‘washed up’ before the 2017 general election – it is hoped that the current legislation can be fast tracked towards implementation in order to build on the extensive experience to date within the Online Civil Money Claims pilot scheme (at the end of May 2019 nearly 70,000 claims had been commenced via OCMC).

The Westminster prorogation doesn’t directly affect the legislative programmes of the devolved assemblies, where it should be business as usual. Over the next few weeks in Scotland we are expecting the imminent dénouement of the personal injury discount rate-setting process provided for in the Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Act 2019 and, on a much broader level, the publication of the Scottish Government’s full legislative programme.

The new legislative programme in Westminster is, according to yesterday’s announcement from No 10, to be outlined in a new Queen’s Speech on 14 October. Quite what that might contain of direct interest to the insurance and risk world – beyond the all-consuming matter of Brexit – is far from clear at this stage.


Alistair Kinley, Director of  Policy and Government Affairs, BLM

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