Just like the town folk in the fairy tale about the duped naked Emperor, we could all see that something odd was going on here but none of us called it out. The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland now has.
In a Parliamentary statement today he confirmed that implementation of the whiplash reforms will be delayed until 1 August 2020. He also clarified important aspects of the package of measures, including handling arrangements for vulnerable road users and the shelving of plans for ADR.
The ‘reveal’ yesterday of the website for the new whiplash claims service – with user registration opening at https://www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk/ – marks the end of the near-total silence which fell over the reform programme before last month’s election and during the Christmas and New Year break. This doesn’t, of itself, mean that the proposed go-live date of 6 April 2020 is now beyond doubt, but I think it has become more likely as a consequence.
By any measure the outcome of yesterday’s election was a significant point in the UK’s politics. The returning of the Conservative government with a chunky majority means, first and foremost, that the UK will leave the EU in a little over six weeks, on 31 January 2020. In advance of a new Queen’s Speech, likely to be next week, are there already indications of what policies to expect from the new administration in the area of civil justice?