The court’s decisions in January & February on applications for permission to appeal were published just before the Easter break. Only a few of the cases in which permission was granted touch on issues relevant to casualty insurance. The legal aspects of fatal accidents happening abroad, but pursued before the English courts, will once again be examined by the court, which has granted permission in the complicated case of Four Seasons v Brownlie.
Vaughan v Ministry of Defence (MoD), a decision of William Davis J in May this year, raised the thorny subject of on or off duty status of service personnel undertaking adventure training. The decision could cut across to other civilian and business settings, for example at team building away days, free time at conferences, etc. The recent decision may be contrasted with a previous Court of Appeal case, Radclyffe v MoD, which was pursued by the same claimant firm and the same leading counsel.
31 July marked the end of the legal term in Ireland. It was also the deadline for responding to a Parliamentary consultation about draft legislation to set up a regime of periodical payment orders in catastrophic injury cases. Earlier in the month, another important reform of Irish law was announced: the re-casting of consumer insurance law. Both are summarised in this post.
Mr Justice Quirke – a former High Court judge and, some time before that, international scrum half – was a key instigator of both measures. Although the projects borrow from legislation implemented in the UK, the recommendations made are quite distinct and the differences should not be overlooked.