The Lord Chancellor made a statement to Parliament today (22 May) in which he confirms that he has completed - as required by the Civil Liability Act 2018 - the three-year post implementation review of the tariff.

The tariff is set out in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 which took effect on 31 May 2021, at the same time as the Official Injury Claims scheme was introduced. Somewhat quaintly, today’s brief written statement ends by indicating that the review will be published “on the return from the Whitsun recess” - meaning after Parliament returns in the week of 3 June 2024.

Given the questions within the call for evidence that the Ministry of Justice conducted during February and March to inform the review, it should be expected that the published material will address issues such as: the structure of and bands within the tariff, trends in whiplash claims volumes, the Supreme Court’s decision in March 2024 on ‘mixed injuries’ (Rabot v Hassam), and the potentially complex issue of how to allow for changes in inflation since 2021 and for the future.

On this last element, it is notable that the call for evidence asked, in the context of the statutory tariff, “Does CPI remain an appropriate inflationary measure?” . In contrast, in respect of damages at common law, the recent 17th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines followed the approach of previous editions and used RPI to adjust the guideline figures. The JCG editorial team did however “recognise the existence of alternative indices that may be appropriate” as well as noting that “Any change must be for the courts, having heard evidence, including expert evidence”.

The publication of the review might also prompt the Commons Justice Committee resume its inquiry into the 2021 whiplash reforms, given that in its September 2023 report it “decided to pause its inquiry until the Supreme Court has ruled on the [Rabot] case” and recommended further “that the Government conduct a follow-up assessment one year after the publication of its planned review”.

That “planned review” will now be published in early June and we will provide a further update shortly after its release.