APIL president Gordon Dalyell:
“Delay is welcome, but another arbitrary date for these reforms to be implemented is meaningless unless critical issues are addressed.
The new claims portal lacks vital safeguards to ensure injured people are able to gain access to justice. Without alternative dispute resolution the portal will leave unrepresented injured people in a very vulnerable position if liability or the value of the claim is disputed. Injured people will be expected instead to switch to the small claims track, which is simply not designed for these types of disputes. But before this could even be considered a viable solution, issues like the need for explicit permission from the court to allow expert evidence must be resolved.
This is now the third time the deadline has been moved and we are still to see any real progress on these issues. The priority must now be on finding workable solutions which will leave injured people with some hope of justice.”