Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Compensation "Culture" - "Common sense: common safety"

Lord Young of Graffham's report - "Common sense: common safety" - has been published.  It contains a significant number of recommendations which, if implemented, will affect the "health and safety" regime across the legal system, business, education, local government etc.  The full report may be read here.

The government has welcomed the report and "accepts" the recommendations though some will require legislation if they are to be implemented.  Here is the reaction of No. 10 .   See also  The Guardian 16th October - "Ending the 'compensation culture' is not as simple as it seems"  .  The Cabinet Office coverage of the report may be read  here.

It is worth noting that Lord Young says - 'The problem of the compensation culture prevalent in society today is, however, one of perception rather than reality.'  It is worrying to think that the politicians appear to ignore such comments.  The prime Ministers said - 'A damaging compensation culture has arisen, as if people can absolve themselves from any personal responsibility for their own actions, with the spectre of lawyers only too willing to pounce with a claim for damages on the slightest pretext.'

I recommend a reading of Lawyerwatch - an excellent blog by Richard Moorhead (Professor of Law, Cardiff University) who covers this (and many other) topics.

The Health and Safety Executive has welcomed Lord Young's report - see HSE Lord Young - and the Chair of the HSE (Judith Hackitt) has given an interview about it - here.   Interestingly, one of Young' recommendations is to abolish the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority - see here.

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