Out of COVID-19 lockdown and into new territory? QOCS is still coming to Scotland…

By Scottish Ministerial order, Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS) is to apply to Scottish personal injury claims – including disease claims and fatality claims – litigated from 30 June 2021. To recap, QOCS is a departure from the usual ‘loser pays’ approach to legal costs and expenses. The guiding principles of QOCS are (i) promoting access to justice in these types of case by generally protecting losing pursuers (hence ‘one way’) from having to meet successful defenders’ costs and (ii) at the same time enabling the removal of that protection in limited specific circumstances (hence ‘qualified’).

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Scottish industrial disease NHS charges bill withdrawn

The Liability for NHS Charges (Treatment of Industrial Disease) (Scotland) Bill has been withdrawn from the Scottish Parliament by Stuart McMillan MSP, the member who proposed this legislation. If enacted, this member’s bill would have allowed recovery by the state of charges incurred by the health service in the provision of treatment to pursuers with industrial disease but only where the cause of action arose after commencement of the proposed new law.

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Stage 1 report on Scottish industrial disease NHS charges bill published

On 18 December 2020, the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee published its stage 1 report on the Liability for NHS Charges (Treatment of Industrial Disease) (Scotland) Bill. If enacted, this member’s bill would allow recovery by the state of charges incurred by the health service in the provision of treatment to pursuers with industrial disease but only where the cause of action arises after commencement of the new law. A link to the committee’s report is here. A link to the bill as introduced is here. The next stage for this bill is for the Scottish Parliament to debate and vote on the general principles of it before 15 January 2021. If the bill passes that vote it will move to stage 2 of the 3 stage legislative process. Amendment is possible at both stages 2 and 3. This legislation will have to pass all three stages before dissolution of the current session of the Scottish Parliament ahead of a 6 May 2021 election or it will fall.

In this blog we summarise the main points of the committee’s stage 1 report:

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