The Special Working Group on a Personal Injuries Tribunal, chaired by Mr. Dan McAuley, published its first report in May 1997. In that report the special working group set out two alternative structures for a mediation board for occupational injury claims – the first to operate within the courts system, and the second, an alternative mediation structure, to be established on a green field basis, outside the ambit of the courts system and operating, initially, on a two-year pilot basis.
A majority of the working group, had reservations about the cost effectiveness of a green field mediation board. The group instead recommended a mediation system to be established within the courts system, having regard to assurances given to it about the rapid pace and scale of the on-going reform of court procedures and elimination of delays.
On the basis of the special working group's second report, which I received in April last, proposals have now been put before Government with the objective of putting arrangements in place to reduce the costs of delivering personal injury compensation, by streamlining the claims process. The second report of the special working group is expected to be published when the Cabinet decision on this matter comes to hand.