Civil Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 28th October 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is making an assessment of the potential effect on (a) the backlog of civil cases and (b) access to justice of a mechanism for the alternative dispute resolution of minor personal injury cases for the new small claims portal.

Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what modelling he has undertaken on the potential effect of changes in trends in the number of low-value personal injury cases coming before HM Civil Courts in the event that an alternative dispute mechanism is not available through the small claims portal before April 2021.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Civil claims backlog data is not held by the Department. However, a revised impact assessment in relation to the forthcoming Statutory Instruments will be published in due course.

The Official Injury Claims portal is designed to be simple and easy to use. However, there will be occasions where claimants will need to be able to resolve disputes with the at-fault compensator. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was initially proposed to resolve these, but as announced in a written Ministerial Statement published on 27 February 2020 no practicable solution for ADR could be found and it would not form part of the service. The full statement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/implementation-of-the-whiplash-reform-programme

The Government remains committed to ensuring access to justice, and unrepresented claimants will have access to a new accessible bespoke court process to enable any such disputes to be settled.

We are also working closely with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service to understand the operational impacts of these new processes on the civil justice system and we will keep this matter under review, following implementation.

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