The matter raised by the Deputy is also the subject of Recommendation 5 of the Cost of Insurance Working Group made in its Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance published in January of this year. As the Deputy will be aware, the Cost of Insurance Working Group, chaired by Minister of State Michael D'Arcy TD, brings together the relevant Departments and Offices involved in undertaking a review of the factors which are influencing the increased cost of insurance. Its objective is to identify immediate and longer term measures which address increasing costs, while bearing in mind the need to maintain a stable insurance sector. Under Recommendation 5, the Law Reform Commission was requested to undertake a detailed analysis of the possibility of developing constitutionally sound legislation to delimit or cap the amounts of damages which a court may award in respect of some or all categories of personal injuries. As tasked by the Working Group, my Department wrote to the Law Reform Commission in relation to this recommendation on 9 February 2018.
It is my understanding that the Law Reform Commission has now included this proposal for consideration as part of its draft Fifth Programme of Law Reform and that a Memorandum will shortly be proposed to Government in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General who liaise with the Commission on these matters. On that basis, it would be anticipated that the Fifth Programme will be finalised by the end of this year at which point the timeline for the delivery of its various outputs by the Law Reform Commission will be determined.