Insurance Post

Access to Justice urges MoJ to extend whiplash consultation deadline

Ministry of Justice in Petty France

Access to Justice has written to the government asking for the consultation period for personal injury reform to be extended beyond the current deadline.

The Ministry of Justice launched its consultation on proposals to personal injury reform last month, with the current deadline standing at 6 January 2017.

The long-awaited consultation paper outlines plans to scrap the right to compensation or put a cap on the amount people can claim for minor whiplash injuries.

Access to Justice spokesman Andrew Twambley said that the Ministry of Justice has "misjudged the amount of time required for interested parties to respond, particularly as the consultation contains new elements which the claims sector has not been informed about beforehand".

Twambley said: "The Christmas holiday effectively shortens the consultation period to six weeks which is unreasonable.

"The government's own code of practice notes that consultation periods are flexible ‘depending on the issue and whether interested groups have already been engaged in the policy making process.

"For a new and contentious policy, 12 weeks or more may still be appropriate. Whether interested groups have been ‘engaged' is moot, especially as parts of the impact assessment were written in 2015 and contain information that is now out of date.

"We also believe that these proposed reforms are highly contentious. The MoJ's proposals threaten to sweep away consumers' rights of redress under law that have been part of British life for centuries.

"Giving so short a timescale to the consultation is thoughtless at best, especially as the consultation is now far wider than the original proposal to ban soft tissue injury claims and increase the small claims limit.

"Overall, if the desire is to do this fairly, properly and transparently, then six weeks over Christmas is not the way to go about it. This is an unnecessary and entirely avoidable imposition on the whole claimant sector.

"We urge justice ministers to live up to their name and extend the consultation to 12 weeks, which will do justice to the importance of these proposed reforms."

The MoJ has said that capping compensation would see the average pay-out cut from £1,850 to a maximum amount of £425.

Also in the paper is a proposal to raise the limit in the small claims court for all personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000.

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have an Insurance Post account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: