In a personal injury case, compensation awarded to a successful claimant will include damages for any future financial losses, such as loss of earnings and cost of care, which are usually paid in a lump sum. The discount rate is applied by a court to adjust the award to take account of the return that may be earned from investing it, in accordance with the legal principle that claimants should be fully compensated for their losses but no more and no less.
When setting the discount rate, the Department currently has to apply legal principles set out in a decision of the House of Lords. England and Wales and Scotland, however, have made primary legislation that changed how their discount rates are set, taking account of evidence about how claimants invest their lump sum award. In view of this, the Department considers that it is timely to review the legal framework for setting the discount rate in Northern Ireland.
Consultees are asked for views on whether the new legal framework in England and Wales, or that in Scotland, would be appropriate for Northern Ireland or for suggestions about a suitable alternative framework.
We welcome views from everyone with an interest in personal injury litigation.
Responding to the consultation
Responses to the consultation can be submitted via Citizen Space on the NI Direct website at: https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/doj-corporate-secretariat/personal-injury-discount-rate-how-should-it-be-set. Alternatively, you can use the questionnaire provided and email it to: AtoJ.Consultation@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk
If you require a copy of the consultation in an alternative format, please contact the Department by email at: AToJ.Consultation@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk