Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Westminster

Bills

Name of BillType of BillCurrent stage
Judicial Review and Courts BillGovernment BillHouse of Commons Second Reading - Tuesday 26 October October - APIL briefing for House of Commons second reading
Health and Care BillGovernment BillHouse of Commons Committee Stage - APIL briefing for House of Commons second reading
 

Judicial Review and Courts Bill

The Judicial Review and Courts Bill is a missed opportunity to support bereaved families. The Government must use this Bill to implement the recent recommendation from the House of Commons Justice Select Committee for legal aid or other public funding to be available for representation for bereaved people at inquests where public authorities are legally represented. Safeguards must also be added to the proposed coroner reforms in chapter four of part two of the Bill to ensure bereaved families are not denied the answers they need after a death of a loved one.

APIL's briefing for House of Commons second reading can be read here


Health and Care Bill

Part four of the Health and Care Bill will establish the new Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) which will investigate incidents which occur in England during the provision of health care services and have or may have implications for the safety of patients. The aim of the HSSIB is laudable, but a wall of secrecy is inevitable if proposals to allow the HSSIB to withhold information are implemented. A prohibition on the disclosure of information is in direct contradicition to thhe duty of candour, which was introduced to create a more open and transparent NHS.   

APIL's briefing for House of Commons second reading can be read here

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021

The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021 introduces 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 only apparent rationale for this longstop is that personal injury claims against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are brought late, and the restriction "would be beneficial to Armed Forces personnel and veterans". This is an extraordinary claim by the Government, which provided no real evidence or examples on how personnel and veterans will benefit. Only the MoD will benefit, as it will escape responsibility for some of those who are injured through its own negligence.

APIL's briefing for House of Commons second reading can be read here.

APIL's briefing for House of Commons committee stage can be read here.

APIL's briefing for House of Lords second reading can be read here.

APIL's briefing for House of Lords committee stage can be read here.

APIL's briefing for House of Lords report stage can be read here.

APIL's briefing for consideration of Lords amendments 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.
 

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

In February 2021, the Government published regulations to bring certain sections of the Act into law. The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 sets the amounts in the new tariff. See APIL's briefing on the regulations here - APIL briefing: The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021.


Select committees

Public Accounts Committee

In June 2021 the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee launched a call for evidence on protecting consumers from unsafe products. All consumers must have a right to buy a product which they can be satisfied is safe. When something does go wrong, APIL members support those who have been injured by unsafe products. We would, of course, prefer for no one to be injured, but there are failings within our safety regime which leave consumers vulnerable to faulty products can cuase harm. In our response we have made a number or recommendations to protect consumers from unsafe products. 

APIL's evidence can be read here

The Committee's report can be read here

Health and Social Care Select Committee

In July 2020 the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee launched an inquiry into the safety of maternity services in England. As part of the call for evidence, the committee asked for views on 'the contribution of clinical negligence and litigation processes to maternity safety, and what changes could be made to clinical negligence and litigation processes to improve the safety of maternity services'.  

Litigation is a product of poor safety standards: litgiation highlights failures within maternity services and provides learning opportunities, but only the NHS has the ability to learn from its mistakes. After concerns from APIL members that learning opportunities are being missed, we have recommended the establishment of an NHS learning and improvement database, where the public will be able to monitor what recommendations and learning opportunities have been identified, and whether or not they have been implemented.  

APIL's evidence can be read here.

The committee's report can be read here.

The Government's response can be read here

Joint Committee on Human Rights

In July 2020 the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a call for evidence as part of its legislative scrutiny of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill

APIL's evidence can be read here. 

In March 2020 the Joint Committee on Human Rights published a call for evidence as part of its scrutiny of the draft Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020. The prupose of the order is to extend the eligibility of bereavement damages in England and Wales to some cohabiting couples. 

APIL's evidence can be read here

The joint committee's report can be read here.

The latest call for evidence follows the joint committee's previous inquiry in 2019 on the draft Remedial Order.

APIL's evidence to that inquiry can be read here.

The joint committee's report can be read here.

The Government's response can be read here

 


Get Involved

We always welcome input from our members and have found this a great help in the past, particularly with our campaign on the small claims court. If you would like any more information on our current campaigns, or how you can get involved and help us fight for the rights of injured people, please contact Sam Ellis, public affairs officer on 0115 943 5426 or by clicking here.

APIL members can read more about our campaign activity in our membership publications.