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Government to Consult on Raising the Small Claims Court Limit

Hot off the press, Mr Jingly Jangly has confirmed the that the Ministry of Justice is going to 'consult' on their er, decision to raise the small claims court limit for Personal Injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000.

Here it is in black and white  (blue and red with my highlighting) - an official question asked:

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to reform civil justice following his Department's 2011 consultation. [106874]

Mr Djanogly: The Government's plans for the reform of civil justice are set out in its response to the Solving Disputes consultation which was announced in a written ministerial statement on 9 February 2012, Official Report, column 31WS.

Since then, this Department has launched an evidence gathering exercise in relation to the extension of the Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury scheme; and has published provisions to establish a single county court in the Crime and Courts Bill which was introduced in another place on 10 May 2012. In addition, the Government intends to consult on raising the small claims threshold for personal injury claims to reduce the costs of challenging fraudulent cases in court, and
on tackling questionable medical evidence by considering the use of independent medical panels.

Now we all know how well the previous consultation went: lots of effort going into the submissions which were subsequently speed read by a thousand civil servants in 24 hours to give the Government their balanced view.

Soooo we shall see.

Here is a quick poser - how does raising the small claims court limit prevent fraud? Does it stop people making bogus claims? Is there some magical force-field at the doors of the small claims courts which prevents criminals getting in? Er no. What about costs then - at least the defendants can get their costs back if someone is found to be a fraudster? Well they can get personal costs orders now but not in the small claims court.

Mmmmm. Strange. So not sure how this is going to help except to give the insurers a lot more money to fight them. That must be it.

Trebbles all round!

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