Civil Liability Bill – brief report on Committee stage day one

The Commons Committee examining the Bill voted along party lines on the amendments, on 11 September. Opposition amendments, as set out in our earlier posts, were either voted down or withdrawn at this stage, although the issues look likely to be revisited by the whole House at a later date as the Bill progresses. Continue reading

Ministerial unity on claims reform

The Government is determined to crack down on the compensation culture and has announced reforms, including raising the small claims limit, to tackle the problem … [and] will consult on the detail of these reforms in due course, with a view to implementing them as soon as the necessary legislation is in place.”

The two passages above are taken from separate answers to PQs given very recently by Treasury and Justice Ministers. The full text of both answers is set out in the body of this post.

The comments clearly show that both departments and both ministers remain committed to the general damages and small claims reforms set out in the 2015 Autumn Statement.

Consultation on these measures is expected to commence sometime after the European referendum on 23 June. That said, the Government’s legislative and policy priorities could change should the decision of the electorate be for the UK to leave the EU.

Those following the EU debate on reform closely may spot that the ministers who are united here on claims reform nevertheless find themselves on opposing sides of the European question. Continue reading

Lord Chief Justice questioned by Constitution Committee

On 27 April the House of Lords Constitution Committee questioned the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, on four main points: the recruitment and retention of judges, diversity in the legal profession, public perception of the legal system, and the programme to modernise the court estate. This Committee session took place more or less six months after the Lord Chief’s annual press conference last November.

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