Goverment may consider referendum if compensation awards aren't reined in by judges

The government may consider holding a referendum if compensation awards are not reined in.

Goverment may consider referendum if compensation awards aren't reined in by judges

The Government may consider holding a referendum if compensation awards are not reined in.

That is the message from Junior Minister Michael D'Arcy after figures showed the average whiplash award is for just under €20,000.

A showdown between the judiciary and the Oireachtas could be on the cards to tackle the issue.

Questions remain about whether or not the Government can introduce legislation which would cap award levels or remove judges discretion in cases.

The judiciary is an independent body to the Government and would, therefore, require a referendum is the discretion of judges was to be removed.

Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher has said the Government must provide further clarity on its intentions to reduce the sums awarded for whiplash compensation claims.

He said: “If this Government intends on intervening in judicial discretion, it should firmly outline its case as top why they believe this is a suitable approach.

"This shouldn’t be an adhoc or knee jerk move considering the precedent it would set and the implications of so..."

He added: "I am concerned that this claim made by Minister D’Arcy, to hold a referendum is designed to directly interfere with the judiciary in our State...The Government needs to take the lead on putting in place serious insurance reforms not place it’s focus on improperly constraining judicial decisions,”

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