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The Civil Liability Bill [HL] (the Bill) has three parts:

  • Part 1 deals with whiplash;
  • Part 2 deals with the personal injury discount rate;
  • Part 3 sets out the final provisions and deals with regulations, extent, commencement and short title.

The Speaker has certified the Bill under Standing Order No. 83J as relating exclusively to England and Wales on matters within devolved legislative competence.

A Library briefing paper, published for Second Reading of the Bill in the Commons, provides background information, including on debate in the Lords:

Commons Library Analysis: Civil Liability Bill [HL].

The Government also intends to increase the small claims track limit for personal injury claims. This does not form part of the Bill and would be achieved instead by secondary legislation (effecting a change to the Civil Procedure Rules). However, the Government has presented Part 1 of the Bill and this secondary legislation as a package of reforms. Issues relating to the increase in the small claims track limit have been raised in debate on the Bill at all stages in both Houses of Parliament.

Having completed its passage through the Lords, the Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 28 June 2018 as Bill 240 of 2017-19. Second Reading took place on 4 September 2018. The Bill was considered by a Public Bill Committee in two sittings on 11 September 2018.

In Public Bill Committee 21 Opposition amendments were defeated on divisions. In addition, there were two divisions on clause stand part debates, both of which were carried. Government amendments were made which would:

  • require the Lord Chancellor to consult the Lord Chief Justice before making regulations about the amount of damages for whiplash injuries and minor psychological injuries suffered on the same occasion; and
  • provide for affirmative resolution regulations to require insurers of customers domiciled in England and Wales to provide information concerning the impact of the Bill’s provisions on insurance premiums in England and Wales, and to require HM Treasury, with the assistance of the Financial Conduct Authority to lay before Parliament a report concerning the information provided.

The Bill as amended in Public Bill Committee has been published as Bill 264 of 2017-19.

Report stage is scheduled for 23 October 2018.

Help for Members of Parliament and their staff

In addition to writing and updating published papers as bills go through Parliament, the House of Commons Library can assist Members of Parliament and their staff with individual enquiries about bills, particularly on the policy background. 

The Public Bill Office (PBO) supports public bill committees. The staff working in the PBO can advise Members of Parliament on tabling amendments to bills and on the drafting of Private Members’ Bills.

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