Shadow justice secretary hits out at Civil Liability Bill


Burgon: We will vote against

The shadow justice secretary has ripped into the Civil Liability Bill, saying Labour will vote against it as it stands.

Richard Burgon MP, a former solicitor, said the government had to drop all the measures “that create yet more barriers to justice”.

The bill receives its second reading in the House of Commons today.

Writing for the political website Left Foot Forward, Mr Burgon said: “We are all meant to have equal access to our justice system. But when you can’t afford to defend your legal rights then they are not worth the paper they are written on.”

It was “perhaps” not coincidental that the Conservatives’ reforms would also “boost the profits of their friends who run the insurance industry”.

He added: “The Tories claim it is about reducing fraud. But everyone injured this way [with whiplash] will get less compensation. That surely can’t be right.

Such an approach is an assault on the rights of genuine victims. Pre-eminent legal experts have warned that penalising the innocent in this way goes against the principles of our justice system.

“Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf said that it ‘results in injustice and it is known to result in injustice. Indeed, no one can deny that it results in injustice’.”

Mr Burgon said the connected small claims track change would mean that “tens of thousands of working people will no longer have access to free legal help. Many will have to represent themselves, even where the insurers fighting against them still having lawyers of their own. Others will not be able to pursue their cases at all.”

He concluded: “Labour is clear that this legislation in its current form cannot be supported. The government needs to drop all the measures that create yet more barriers to justice, or we will vote against it.”




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reports

No larger firm can ignore the demands of innovation – that was the clear message from our most recent roundtable: “The law firm of the future”, sponsored by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions. It comes in many forms, predominantly but not just technology, and is not simply a case of automating process. Expertise and process are not mutually exclusive.

Blog

20 September 2018
Simon McCrum

Why don’t lawyers do what you ask them to do?

Having been team leader, department head, division head and managing partner, I understand well the frustration (and anger) that managing partners and CEOs voice to me: “We’ve asked them a dozen times, but still they aren’t doing what we need!”

Read More