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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Government’s "pointless" Heroism Bill plays to populist myths

05 Sep 2014
APIL news

A Bill which aims to allow would-be heroes and volunteers to act without fear of being sued is ill thought-through, populist, and a waste of parliamentary time, MPs have heard.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) gave evidence to a committee on Thursday on the effects of the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill which is currently working its way through Parliament.

APIL president John Spencer explained that the Bill is unnecessary, as Good Samaritans have nothing to fear from the current law.

“There is a need for education here. We should not be legislating to deal with a perception,” said Mr Spencer.

“The Bill aims to deal with a problem which doesn’t exist and in turn could have unintended consequences,” he went on. “By trying to adjust a problem which is merely a perception, the Government could create another problem”.

APIL, a national not-for-profit group which campaigns for safety and on behalf of injured people, fears that would-be heroes will be able to disregard whether their actions result in help or harm because they will be protected by the new law.

“There is adanger that it could encourage unsafe, even reckless, behaviour whilst seeking to encourage heroic behaviour,” Mr Spencer explained.

“The aims and objectives that the Government sets out to encourage people to act for the good of society without fear of reprisal are indeed laudable, but I challenge the method.

“None of us would want to send our child off on a school trip and have them injured, and likewise we don’t want them to be prevented from going on the trip because of a fear of litigation. But the fear is based on perception and we need education,not legislation, to address that”.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: tim.carter@apil.org.uk.
  • Visit the association's website at www.apil.org.uk.
  • •Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

Past press releases

Extra pressure on NHS if Civil Liability Bill goes ahead, 03 Sep 2018
Bereaved relatives deserve fairness, 31 Aug 2018
Cut whiplash injuries with the headrest test, 15 Aug 2018
Grieving parents of stillborn babies fight for answers, 22 Jun 2018
Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018
APIL, FOIL and MASS join forces for mediation project, 29 May 2018
Grieving relatives cruelly ignored by justice system, 27 Apr 2018
Car insurance injury claims lowest this decade, 23 Apr 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400
lorraine.gwinnutt@apil.org.uk

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416
jane.hartwell@apil.org.uk

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431
lizzy.freeman@apil.org.uk