The civil liabilities acts' (3rd Ed.) (Thomson Round Hall, 2005) Anthony Kerr

AuthorAoife O'Donoghue
PositionB.C.L., LL.M., Lecturer, Faculty of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway
Judicial Studies Institute Journal [6:1
(Thomson Round Hall, 2005)
Anthony Kerr
Civil Liability is one of the most case-laden domains of the
common law. Personal injury claims have become part of what is
now considered to be our litigious culture; a phenomenon which
has seen much discussion over the past 10 years, both in the
media and in academic discourse.1 The overwhelming volume of
litigation over the past twenty years and the consequential
increase in insurance premiums have led to some recent reform of
this area. This is manifested in the Personal Injuries Assessment
Board Act in 2003, which was part of the reform that was seen as
necessary to change the culture that is seen as being now
ingrained in our society. It was also an attempt by the government
to reduce costs and, thus, the insurance bills that have been
rocketing recently. Over the past 45 years, the Civil Liability Act
has been the central focus of development of the law in this area
and clear guidance on how the Act has been interpreted and used
by the courts is a necessity if any future reform is to be carried
out. This seems to be the author’s objective in the newest edition
of The Civil Liabilities Acts.
The need for clear guidance in this area of the law is
evident. As the myriad of cases has added to the already complex
statute and its amendments, the complexity and the need for
assistance in ascertaining the current position of the law is
obvious. This would be of use to the student, the academic, the
practitioner and the judge. It seems particularly useful for the
B.C.L., LL.M., Lecturer, Faculty of Law, National University of Ireland,
1 “‘Compensatitis’ is our worst disease,” The Irish Times, 11 December 1997;
Law Society proposes the use of a scale of damages for injury awards,” The
Irish Times, 19 October 2002. See also Nugent, “Reform of Personal Injuries
Actions,” (1997) 2 (8) Bar Review 365.

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