Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill
The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill would introduce a six-year civil litigation longstop. The longstop will apply to claims made for personal injury and death caused by negligence during overseas operations, as well claims made under the Human Rights Act 1998. The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 18 March 2020. and will have its second reading debate on 23 September 2020.
The only apparent rationale for these proposals is that personal injury claims against the Minsitry of Defence (MoD) are brought late, and the restriction "would be benefical to Armed Forces personnel and veterans". This is an extraordinary claim by the Government, which has provided no real evidence or example how personnel and veterans will benefit. Only the MoD will benefit, as it will escape responsbility for some of those who are injured through its own negligence.
APIL's briefing for the House of Commons second reading debate can be read here.
A letter about the Bill from APIL President Sam Elsby to regional press can be read here.
A comment piece on the Bill by APIL president Sam Elsby published by The Law Society Gazette can be read here.
Draft Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020 extended the eligibility of bereavement damages in England and Wales to couples who have lived together for at least two years. We have long campaigned for reform of bereavement damages, and this remedial order is welcome.
The Government has, however, failed to take this opportunity to address the wider unfairness of statutory bereavement damages in England and Wales. This failure is unacceptable. The Government's refusal even to consider further reform is a snub to bereaved families and flies in the face of consistent lobbying for modernisation of the law, and a clear recommendation from the Joint Committee on Human Rights for a consultation on reform because the law is "discriminatory against certain close family members".
APIL's parliamentary briefing on the remedial order can be read here.
Civil Liability Act 2018
The Civil Liability Act 2018 was passed by Parliament in November 2018. The Act allows the Lord Chancellor to introduce a tariff for certain claims for whiplash injuries, and amends how the Personal Injury Discount Rate is set in England and Wales. The changes to whiplash claims are expected to come into force in April 2021, and secondary legislation will be required to set the new tariff. We lobbied MPs and peers through the legislative journey of the Civil Liability Act, and APIL's previous parliamentary briefings can be found below -
Civil Liability Bill APIL fact checker
House of Lords second reading briefing
House of Lords report stage briefing
House of Lords third reading briefing
House of Commons second reading briefing
House of Commons committee stage briefing
House of Commons report stage briefing