Yesterday Transport Minister Rachel Maclean MP dealt with two written questions on what the government is doing to raise public awareness that the use of privately owned escooters is and will remain illegal. Written questions are, in my view at least, slightly obscure and hardly the best channel through which important public messages would be likely to reach a broad audience. So while her messages (at these links 97467 & 97468) are definitely important, accurate and timely, it is a little disappointing that they are, frankly, buried in the sort of Parliamentary minutiae that really only policy nerds (like me) might pick up on.
The decision to prorogue Parliament (Westminster) will lead to a ‘wash up’ of outstanding Bills, in which those which haven’t fully completed the legislative process are likely to be lost.
In reality, however, Parliamentary activity beyond Brexit has been pretty thin for the last few months, with very few unresolved Bills touching on civil litigation and insurance. One of passing interest is the Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill which provides the necessary framework for moving some civil and family disputes to an online setting. Given that this important project has already had one legislative false start – via the Prison & Courts Bill which was ‘washed up’ before the 2017 general election – it is hoped that the current legislation can be fast tracked towards implementation in order to build on the extensive experience to date within the Online Civil Money Claims pilot scheme (at the end of May 2019 nearly 70,000 claims had been commenced via OCMC).
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