Page 4 - Inside Law Magazine Issue 9 - Winter 2014-15
P. 4

THE INTRODUCTION
OF “FUNDAMENTAL
DISHONESTY”

T he Criminal Justice and Court Bill         into this Bill, by virtue of Clauses 49 to 53.     Claimant will be such that if he or she
        was introduced into the House of     Clause 49 (1) states that;                         is found to have been fundamentally
        Commons on 5th February 2014.        “This section applies where, in proceedings        dishonest in one part of the claim, for
Line by line examination of the Bill took    on a claim for damages in respect of               example by exaggerating symptoms of an
place during the Committee stage on          Personal Injury (“the primary claim”)              injury sustained, then both the claim for
30th July 2014 with final amendments         (a) the Court finds that the Claimant is entitled  General Damages and Special Damages
being made to the Bill during the            to damages in respect of the claim, but;           will be dismissed. Definition will be at the
third reading on 10th November 2014.         (b) on an application (emphasis added) by          interpretation of the Court, and will no
The Bill is now to go to the Commons         the Defendant for the dismissal of the claim       doubt lead to considerable legal debate
for consideration of Lords amendments        under this section, the Court is satisfied on      surrounding the standard of dishonesty
and is expected to receive Royal Assent      the balance of probabilities that the Claimant     required, for the Defendant to be able to
by the end of 2014.                          has been fundamentally dishonest in relation       satisfy a Court that the Claimant’s claim
One of the “costs benefits” of this Bill is  to the primary claim or a related claim”.          should be dismissed in its’ entirety.
that its’ intention is to reduce the burden  Essentially, Clause 49 (1) (b) allows a            Previously, if the client had exaggerated
of the costs of Court on hardworking         Defendant to apply to the Court to dismiss         symptoms, it would not necessarily be
taxpayers by making those found guilty of    the whole of a PI claim if it, the Court,          regarded as fundamental dishonesty,
criminal offences, pay towards the costs     finds, on the balance of probabilities, that       but simply rather as exaggeration, and
of their Court cases. However, with the      the Claimant has been “fundamentally               damages could be reduced if applicable,
momentum fully in flow already post-April    dishonest.” The effect of this on the              but the claim would not automatically be
2013, with regard to Personal Injury (PI)                                                       dismissed. Thereafter the Court could
claims, a significant addition was included                                                     utilise their discretion under the pre-April
                                                                                                2013 CPR 44.3 (2) (b) in expressing their

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