Mr Justice McAlinden has today granted permission to Madden & Finucane Solicitors to challenge, by way of Judicial Review, the Department of Justice’s refusal to introduce an Interim Discount Rate in respect of Personal Injury claims.
On 22nd October 2020 a trio of Senior Civil Servants from the Department of Justice attended before the Justice Committee at Stormont where they ultimately decided to decline to alter the Discount Rate of 2.5%, even on an interim basis, pending the implementation of intended legislation.
Jack Quigley of Madden & Finucane, Solicitor for the Applicant, welcomed today’s decision from the High Court stating:
“Plaintiff’s should be compensated properly for their losses, the retention of the present Rate does not do that. This Judicial Review challenge considers matters that are of major public importance that affect some of the most vulnerable members of society which have a major and life changing effect on not only the applicant but also members of the public similarly affected. The decision taken by the DOJ is manifestly unfair and irrational, particularly when you consider that the rate has not changed here since its implementation in 2001. However, the unfairness is even more acute when you consider that a number of years ago Westminster adjusted its discount rate for the jurisdiction of England and Wales to -0.25% and Holyrood similarly determined that the discount rate in Scotland was out-dated and adjusted its rate to -0.75. All in all, the present Rate is patently untenable and must be adjusted as a matter of urgency so as to avoid any further prejudice to existing Plaintiffs within this jurisdiction whose cases fall to be determined by the Court in advance of any legislative change, particularly given that any intended amending legislation will likely not come into force until late 2021, early 2022. The urgency and importance of this matter are reflected in Mr Justice McAlinden’s decision to list the full hearing of this case during the last week in January 2021”