Does a decision change the law if it turns on its own facts?

The orthodox answer to this question is no, on the basis that it is the peculiarities of the facts which give rise to the outcome, rather than any new legal approach. In two decisions this week in the tort of negligence, the clinical claim Darnley in the Supreme Court and the vicarious liability claim Bellman in the Court of Appeal, the higher Courts worked from the initial findings of fact and applied the existing law to them to drive different outcomes from those reached in the courts below.

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Civil Liability Bill – accounting for savings arising

As anticipated in yesterday’s blog about the Bill’s second reading, various amendments from the government and oppositon have now been published. These will be debated next week, in Committee stages scheduled for 11 and 13 September. Both sets of amendments address the whiplash reforms in part 1 of the Bill and don’t touch* on the discount rate measures in part 2, which seems to be a clear sign that it is far less politically-charged than whiplash. Continue reading

Key issues raised at second reading of the Civil Liability Bill on 4 September 2018

The Bill’s second reading in the Commons yesterday was book-ended by the speeches of the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor David Gauke and by junior justice minister Rory Stewart. In the intervening three and half hours the government flagged some important amendments it will make and the opposition set out the key elements of its argument against much of the whiplash reforms in particular. The body of this blog attempts to summarise the debate. Continue reading