Wednesday , September 28 2022

Fianna Fáil warns against a knee referendum & # 39; On whiplash compensation


Warning: Billy Kelleher is worried about a threat to judicial independence. Photo: Tony Gavin
Warning: Billy Kelleher is worried about a threat to judicial independence. Photo: Tony Gavin

Kevin Doyle

No movement should be made to restrict judges' discretion for "knee" compensation compensation, Fianna Fáil has warned.

The main party of the Opposition is concerned that a referendum on how courts would make awards set a precedent.

On Saturday, the Independent Irish Government revealed plans to hold a referendum to judge judges' discretion in terms of compensation claims if the judiciary does not seriously reduce whiplash and soft injuries in less than two years.

Figures of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) show that the average award for whiplash injuries is slightly less than € 20,000. This is approximately five times the average payment for whiplash in England and Wales.

The younger minister with responsibility for insurance, Michael D 'Arcy, said that unless the judges re-govern compensation claims for whiplash injuries, the Government would interfere.

"If the judges are not, then the Oireachtas will have to review the issue.

"If a referendum is needed, we will take a referendum so that the Oireachtas has the legal authority to set up prizes," he warned.

However, Fianna Fáil's spokesman for business Billy Kelleher said: "If this Government intends to intervene at judicial discretion, it should firmly outline its reason why it believes that this is a suitable way .

"This should not be an ad hoc or knee movement, taking into account the premise that it would set and its implications."

Cork TD said that maintaining judicial independence was "vitally important".

He expressed concern about the idea of ​​a referendum that he said he would have planned to "intervene directly with the judiciary in our state".

Mr Kelleher added: "There are a number of recommendations presented by the chair of the Personal Injuries Commission that should be investigated and implemented primarily to mitigate the cost of the claims and before considering even a referendum."

Irish Independent

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