The Government (Ministry of Justice) announced this morning (noted in an earlier blog) that it will change the law on the discount rate for personal injury claims via the Civil Liability Bill, which will be introduced in the House of Lords later today and available on line tomorrow. And the MoJ also today issued its formal response to the Justice Select Committee’s November 2017 report on the earlier draft version of the discount rate legislation (itself published in September 2017). The body of this piece offers some first thoughts on the response paper.
The Ministry Justice has confirmed it will publish the Civil Liability Bill today, 20 March 2018. This Bill is the legislative vehicle for changing how the personal injury discount rate is set and for reforming how whiplash claims are resolved. The MoJ announced this by a notification to the Stock Exchange earlier this morning.
The MoJ has already given indications that April 2019 is its preferred implementation date for the latter reform and that now also seems a realistic timescale for the former, although it is impossible to be certain at this very early stage of this combined Bill. It should be noted that both sets of measures will apply to England and Wales only.
Further details and comment will follow later today as and when we have reviewed the Bill and accompanying materials, which should include the Government ‘s response to the Justice Select Committee’s report on the initial draft provisions about the discount rate (first published last September).
Published by Alistair Kinley, head of policy and government affairs
This question is at the heart of the Supreme Court’s decision in Four Seasons International Holdings (FSIH) v Brownlie. The fatal car accident, which gave rise to the claim, happened in Egypt but the claimant was an English resident and had incurred losses and expenses related to the incident on returning to England. She issued in England against FSIH, which was based in Canada, and thus had to apply to serve the proceedings outside the jurisdiction. Whether she would be able to do that would turn on where the damage was sustained.