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MSPs reject calls to accelerate compensation bill

3 June 2009

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MSPs have rejected a call to fast-track a proposed shake-up of compensation law for wrongful deaths in Scotland.

Labour MSP Bill Butler had called for his Member’s Bill to be accelerated without the usual consultation process for legislation.

He told MSPs on Holyrood’s Justice Committee: “The consultation was wholly adequate and there is no new material.”

But the Law Commission consultation heard from the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Scotland) and the Forum of Scottish Claims Managers, which called for a full consultation to be carried out.

Mr Butler argued that a consultation could delay the passage of the Bill, which aims to make compensation fairer and quicker for victims of accidents and disease, by up to five months.

Despite this, MSPs voted 5-3 against going ahead without consultation.

The proposed Bill comes after recommendations by the Scottish Law Commission were published in September last year.

If passed, the changes will mean that people claiming compensation will no longer have to go through court where liability has been admitted, allowing victims’ relatives to be compensated more quickly.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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