The Personal Injuries Commission (PIC) was established by my Department in 2017 to compare Ireland’s personal injury claims processes against other jurisdictions, to benchmark international personal injury awards with those in Ireland, to report on alternative compensation and resolution models and make recommendations which could enhance the Irish claims environment.
During its 18 month work programme which concluded in July 2018, the PIC delivered two reports with 14 recommendations. One of its recommendations was that a Judicial Council, when established, be requested by the Minister for Justice and Equality to compile judicial guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.
The Judicial Council Bill, which completed Report and Final Stages in the Seanad on 9 July 2019, will provide for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee whose sole purpose will be to develop guidelines for various types of personal injury which will fall to be adopted by the Judicial Council.
The enactment of the Judicial Council Bill will effectively supersede the requirement for a Book of Quantum, as the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee will draw up guidelines on the level of damages which should be awarded in personal injuries actions. This should help to promote consistency in the level of personal injuries damages awarded by the courts.