This morning Nichola Mallon MLA appeared before the NI Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee to discuss (inter alia) reforming motor insurance law in NI to re-set it back to the position that had applied before the wide approach that the European Court adopted in 2014 in Vnuk v Zararovalnica.
The Minister’s plan is to introduce the legislation required to do this as soon as possible and for it to proceed via Accelerated Passage (AP) so that it can take effect as quickly as possible. She expressed some regret that it had not been possible for the Bill currently proceeding in Westminster (on which see this post from earlier in the month) to be extended to NI. She had therefore concluded that a short NI-specific Bill proceeding via AP was the only way to make the necessary changes during the remainder of the current Assembly Mandate. One of her officials indicated that if AP was granted it could mean that the measures in the as-yet-unpublished Bill might take effect as early as May.
If the Infrastructure Committee agrees to AP and if the Bill – as appears very likely – reflects the Westminster proposals then the scope of compulsory motor insurance in NI could, in a matter of months, revert to applying only to road vehicles used on roads or other public places.