The shortest, most accurate, answer is that we simply do not know.
The ‘purdah’ period before the election will see far fewer (if any) communications from civil servants about progress in building the IT platform and refining the policy. Key decisions were to be taken by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee in order to shape the necessary statutory instrument(s) and rules governing the overall scheme of whiplash reform (as outlined in part 1 of the Civil Liability Act 2018) and changes to the small claims track limit.
The day before the Easter weekend the Ministry of Justice published a brief consultation paper on medical reporting options under the whiplash reform programme, including the increase in the small claims limit.
The central proposal is to expand the MedCo scheme to cover obtaining initial medical reports in all motor injury small claims, whether or not the claimant is legally represented. The short period for responses – to 17 May 2019 only – might indicate some renewed momentum within the MoJ given that April 2020 appears to remain its preferred date for implementing the whiplash programme and building the necessary IT platform.
Last week the Ministry of Justice responded to the Justice Committee’s report on small claims published in May. Paragraph 36 of the MoJ’s response confirms that the Government will postpone implementation of the whiplash and small claims reform programme until at least April 2020. Justice Committee Chair Bob Neill MP then wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice to seek further clarification on certain aspects of the reforms. Continue reading