Peers spent around four hours on Wednesday 15 May debating the new approach in the Bill to setting the personal injury discount rate which, in summary, is (a) that the link between the rate and returns on Index-Linked Gilts is scrapped and (b) that a timed-limited and detailed procedure of advice from an expert panel and a decision by the Lord Chancellor is put in place. As would be expected at this stage, no amendments were voted on but several key issues nevertheless remain live for further discussion at Report Stage. We expect that might take place next month, after the short end of May recess.
On 10 May Peers scrutinised the whiplash reforms set out in Part 1 of the Civil Liability Bill. As was noted here previously, a range of probing amendments had been tabled for debate and, days before, the MoJ had released draft regulations setting out its preferred definition of whiplash injury and its preferred tariff of general damages for whiplash injury. None of the amendments were put to a vote and the Bill proceeds as is on 15 May for a further Committee Stage debate. That will focus on the discount rate clauses in part 2 of the Bill, as well as completing the scrutiny of part 1.
Line-by-line scrutiny of the measures in the Civil Liability Bill – which will reform whiplash claims and re-set the legal basis for determining the discount rate – is due to take place in the Lords at Committee stages scheduled for 10 and 15 May. A raft of relevant materials has emerged over the last few days and is summarised in this post. There are three key documents: the new draft whiplash regulations, a letter from Justice Minister Lord Keen to Peers and the list of proposed amendments tabled to date. Continue reading