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Important database for personal injury claims still not operational 12 years on - Pearse Doherty TD

28 September, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said it is a disgrace that a law compelling the Courts Service to set up a register of personal injuries actions is still sitting on the shelf twelve years after it was passed because of a lack of IT support.

In a parliamentary reply to Deputy Doherty Minister Fitzgerald confirmed that Section 30 of the Civil Liability Act remained inactive because of IT support issues.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The issue of data and the lack of transparency has been cited by many experts as one of the causes of the massive jumps in the cost of insurance. Yet here we have a provision passed by the Oireachtas to do exactly what is needed in providing greater transparency and data and it is gathering dust. The section was designed to prevent misleading claims and therefore keep prices down.

“The Minister’s response is pathetic. If the Courts Service is not funded sufficiently to meet its legal responsibilities then it should get greater funding. Telling the Courts Service to put a system in place ‘as soon as possible’, is a cop out given it is now twelve years since the law was passed.

“The non-implementation of this section was picked by former head of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board Dorothea Dowling as one of the things that could be done to help drivers get a better deal from insurers.  The lack of transparency only helps the insurance industry spin excuse after excuse for its own failings.”

QUESTION NO:  97

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

by Deputy Pearse Doherty

for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 27th September, 2016. 

 

 *  To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to commence Section 30 of the Civil Liability Act 2004; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

                                                            - Pearse Doherty

REPLY.

  • Section 30 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 provides that the Courts Service shall set up and maintain a register of personal injuries actions. The Courts Service has advised that to establish and maintain such a register for all court jurisdictions, accessible by members of the public, requires the development of an appropriate IT support system and I am informed that there is no IT support system in place at present. The Courts Service is being requested to examine the requirements, including system development and resource issues, needed to enable the commencement of Section 30 of Civil Liability and Courts 2004 Act as soon as possible. 
  • The Courts Service currently publishes in their Annual Report statistics on incoming personal injury cases, personal injury cases resolved by court and out of court and provides data on the financial categories of awards granted.

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