New personal injuries legislation likely following Supreme Court ruling

New personal injuries legislation likely following Supreme Court ruling

Helen McEntee

Justice minister Helen McEntee has indicated that new legislation will follow the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the personal injuries guidelines.

A majority of Supreme Court judges yesterday held that the relevant section of the Judicial Council Act 2019 is unconstitutional, but that the guidelines are nonetheless binding because they had effectively been ratified by the Oireachtas in a separate 2021 Act.

In a statement yesterday evening, Mrs McEntee said: “Today’s Supreme Court decision was both very significant and very welcome, upholding, as it did, the personal injury guidelines which were adopted on my watch back in April 2021.

“The guidelines were introduced to help standardise awards for common injuries. That introduction was challenged, but today, in a complex judgement by the Supreme Court, they were upheld. That is really good news because we really believe these guidelines are key to our plan to make insurance more affordable.

“I think in the past, we all felt uneasy at some personal injury payouts. No one wants to see a person badly injured left without adequate compensation, but at the same time, we were aware of very high payouts for many quite small and even insignificant injuries.”

She continued: “While the court upheld the guidelines, it has identified deficiencies in the underpinning legislation which will have to be fully considered by my officials with the advice of the Attorney General. I will bring forward any necessary amendments to the legislation in light of that consideration.

“Meanwhile, we will also keep a close eye on the impact of reduced awards under the guidelines, as we want to make absolutely sure that they are that they are reflected in reduced premiums.”

Share icon
Share this article: