Uplift in exceptional circumstances

Part of Civil Liability Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 11 Medi 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 10:45, 11 Medi 2018

I thank the hon. Lady for her speech. This amendment relates to the fundamental question of the tariff system and the relationship between the judiciary and the tariff system. Clause 5 provides a pragmatic compromise between a strict tariff system and judicial discretion by allowing the judges to lift that tariff in exceptional circumstances. However, as the European Court of Justice accepted in the arguments made in the Italian case, there needs to be a limit. If there were no limit to judges’ discretion, the tariff system would become unworkable.

In so far as we disagree about whether there should be a tariff system in the first place, I completely understand where Opposition Committee members are coming from. However, given that the fundamental cornerstone of the Bill is that there should be a tariff, we need to strike a pragmatic compromise between the tariff and giving some discretion to judges. Therefore, we propose that the Lord Chancellor will set a percentage of discretion for judges to uplift the tariff. We also propose that he will consult the Lord Chief Justice on the appropriate level of discretion. We will look carefully at the rulings of the European Court of Justice and the decisions that it has made in other countries where tariffs exist to arrive at that figure.