In a blog post back in April, I highlighted what, at the time, was APIL’s latest research and publication in its campaign to broaden the scope of certain aspects of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
Although APIL’s report claimed around 70% public support for change, it now looks very much like that campaign has reached the end of the road and that reform is very unlikely in the medium term (at least). This is fairly clear from the brief but very direct reply issued yesterday by MoJ Minister Chis Philp. The question put to him and his response (with emphasis added in italics) are set out below.
Anna McMorrin: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward proposals to broaden the scope of claimants entitled to a bereavement award under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
Chris Philp: The Government considered the case for reform when responding to a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in February 2020. The Government believes that the existing system involving a fixed level of award and clear eligibility criteria represents a reasonable, proportionate and practical approach, and the Government does not currently have any plans for wider consultation on the bereavement damages regime or the Fatal Accidents Act more generally.
Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM