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Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee

6th March 2021
The Personal Injuries Guidelines were adopted by the Judicial Council.

View The Personal Injuries Guidelines here and a Report and FAQs in relation to the Guidelines follow

Report of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee

A number of frequently asked questions and answers about the Guidelines are also available.

9th December 2020 - Draft Personal Injuries Guidelines
The Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee has submitted to the Board of the Judicial Council the first draft of personal injuries guidelines prepared by the Committee pursuant to Section 18 (4), as amended, of the Judicial Council Act 2019.

28th April 2020
Date of establishment of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee by the Judicial Council.

Functions and Work of the Committee

The principal function of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee of the Judicial Council was to prepare and submit to the Board of the Council, for its review, draft Personal Injuries Guidelines by 9th December 2020. Within three years of the Council adopting the guidelines, which was on the 6th of March 2021, and every three years thereafter, the Committee will review those guidelines. 

The Judicial Council Act 2019 provides that the Judicial Council nominate a date for establishment of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee at its first meeting in accordance with Section 18 of the Judicial Council Act 2019. At that meeting on the 7th of February 2020, the Council nominated the 28th of April 2020 for the establishment of the Committee. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act, the first meeting took place on the 7th of May 2020 and the draft guidelines will be prepared within six months of establishment.

The Act provides that the guidelines are to be prepared in accordance with Section 90 of the Act.  This section requires the Committee, in preparing the guidelines, to have regard to:

  • (i) the level of damages awarded for personal injuries by courts in the State; 
  • (ii) the level of damages awarded for personal injuries in courts in such places outside the State as the Committee or the Board considers relevant;
  • (iii) the principles for the assessment and award of damages for personal injuries as determined by the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court 
  • (iv) the need to promote consistency in the level of damages awarded for personal injuries; and
  • (v) such other factors as the Committee or the Board considers appropriate.

For the purpose of performing its functions, the Committee, under Section 18 of the Act, has been given the power to require persons in possession of records, documents or information which might assist it with its work to provide such records, documents or information.  It has further been given the power to consult with such persons as it considers appropriate including the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and to conduct such research as it considers appropriate concerning the level of damages awarded by courts in and outside of the State and settlements of claims for personal injuries.

Recently, several state bodies have carried out work into the law on personal injuries, court awards and the costs of claims arising from personal injury. These include the Personal Injuries Commission, the Law Reform Commission as well as the Central Bank. What the Committee is required to do under the Act must, however, be distinguished from what has been done by other bodies to date. Its work is not inquisitorial in nature or designed to inform government policy. It would be entirely inappropriate and beyond the remit and power of the judiciary or the Committee to embark upon any such course.

The Committee

This Committee is comprised of judges from each jurisdiction, nominated by the Chief Justice. 

The judges nominated to form that Committee are as follows:

  • Ms Justice Mary Irvine (Chair), Supreme Court
  • Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, Court of Appeal
  • Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, High Court 
  • Mr Justice Senan Allen, High Court
  • Judge Sarah Berkeley, Circuit Court
  • Judge James McCourt, Circuit Court
  • Judge Brian O'Shea, District Court

The Committee completed the first phase of its work on 9th December 2020 when it furnished the draft guidelines to the Board of the Judicial Council.

The ongoing work of the Committee will be updated from time to time on this website.