Consultation minor settlements

Consultation opened on 07 July 2021. Closing date 24 September 2021 at 00:59.

Summary

The Department is consulting on whether, and if so how, it ought to legislate to require court approval of compensation settlements to children for personal injuries in cases in which legal proceedings have not issued.

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Consultation description

Currently in Northern Ireland compensation settlements for a child agreed during legal proceedings must be approved by the court and that award is then usually paid into court to be managed by the Court Funds Office until the child turns 18.

Where compensation is agreed without legal proceedings being issued, a parent, on behalf of his/her child, can seek court approval of the settlement however, this is a voluntary procedure.

The absence of a legal requirement for all minor settlements to be approved by a court gives rise to a concern that there may cases in which parents are settling claims for a sum that may not properly compensate the child and which may not be spent in the child’s best interests. The Gillen Review of Civil Justice (2017) recommended legislation to address this.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted via Citizen Space on the NI Direct website

Alternatively, you can use the questionnaire provided and email it to: AtoJ.Consultation@justice-ni.gov.uk

A young person’s version of the consultation is also available at this section as well as on Citizen Space.

If you require the consultation in an alternative format or have a query, please email us at: AToJ.Consultation@justice-ni.gov.uk

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