What does the new government mean for public lawyers?
The first quarter of 2018 has flown by and the past three months have remained active in the field of medical/clinical negligence. There have been fewer judgments handed down by the Court compared to the final quarter of 2017, but the decisions that have been handed down cover issues that go to the heart of clinical negligence litigation. Patient consent and Montgomery was the subject of the case of Hassell, a case dealing with spinal cord injury and the burden of proof placed upon a claimant was the subject of the decision in Saunders. Just for good measure, the Courts have also given guidance on the workings of Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules in the cases of JMX and Ballard.
Policy formulation and consultations surrounding the scope and operation of clinical negligence litigation also continue. This quarter saw the announcement that fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence cases will be limited to claims where damages are valued up to £25,000. We still await, however, details of the fixed recoverable costs scheme rules.
The discount rate continues to cause debate and occupy column inches. The government is pushing ahead with devising the new statutory framework for setting and reviewing the discount rate on a 3 yearly basis. Again, further details on the precise framework and how it will work in practice is awaited.
Reform and policy consultations remain on the agenda and, I suspect, will remain so for some time to come. For a summary of the key Court decisions from this quarter please click here.
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