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Lord Sumption makes case for State-funded injury pay-outs

20 Apr 2021 / personal injury Print

Lord Sumption makes case for State injury pay-outs

Retired UK Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption has said that advocates should disengage to a large degree from their cases.

Lord Sumption said that becoming elated or depressed at the prospect of winning or losing a case led to a loss of objectivity.

He also told The Bar Review that rolling lockdowns were a form of ‘pouncing totalitarianism’ because they treated individual human beings as mere instruments of public policy.

On personal injury, Lord Sumption has made the case for a State-funded insurance system and the abolition of fault-based liability, saying that litigation was both expensive and wasteful.

Socialised cost

He added that much of the cost of personal injury damages was socialised though compulsory insurance legislation, and the cost was ultimately carried by the public, resulting in higher prices for goods and services.

“In that case, we might as well pay for it centrally,” he said.

He added that there was a moral question about whether compensation should only apply in cases where injury was caused by someone who was negligent.

“There are plenty of injuries which are caused without negligence, and we tend to push out the boundaries of negligence in order to find the pocket from which the payment of compensation can be made, and that both distorts the law and makes it, I think, morally less justifiable,” he told The Bar Review.

  • Read the full interview in the April edition of The Bar Review.
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Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland