Five MPs have protested against the way the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) handling of the cost reforms, most notably the pace of which they are being implemented and have criticised the lack of an impact assessment to show how these decisions were made.
The five have signed and Early Day Motion (EDM) which is drawn up to allow MPs to draw attention to particular issues. It was laid by Labour MP David Crausby who was joined by fellow MPs Martin Caton and Alan Meale (both Labour) and Andrew George and Bob Russell from the Liberal Democrats.
With the EDM they are urging the government to ensure that the changes that are being made do not come at the cost of the innocent accident victims, who under the new costs regime will find it extremely difficult to launch a claim.
They particularly focused their attentions on the proposals to raise the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000. In their appeal they said: “Raising the small claims limit will drastically reduce access to justice for the genuine victims of road accident.”
But their biggest bone of contention surrounds the pace that the changes to the industry are undergoing without sufficient impact assessments. The MPs responded to this saying: “The vast number of planned changes to the claims process will fundamentally change civil litigation in the UK and alter the balance between the claimants and defendants.”
“The impact assessments on the individual, piecemeal reforms are insufficient and will not demonstrate the cumulative impact of all of the changes on those seeking justice”.
The EDM is pushing for the government to reconsider its plans to raise the small claims limit but as it stands, just five MPs standing up against the chances is simply not enough. It is now up to the personal injury solicitors to do what is right for the claimants and contact their local MPs outlining their concerns and asking for their support.
The MPs who have signed the petition are also asking for a single impact assessment to be conducted that covers all of the Civil Justice Reforms including the Jackson Reforms, referral fee ban, introduction of ABS and the proposed extension of the RTA Portal.
1. Pexels; Kaique Rocha; https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-raising-hand-towards-blue-sky-during-daytime-105226/