Taskforce to investigate UK’s compensation culture

The Better Regulation Taskforce is to carry out a study into
the UK’s compensation culture.

The initiative, which is the first of the task force’s studies
for 2003/04, was announced by chairman David Arculus.

The study will look at:

           whether the
risk of litigation promotes good practice and compliance with the law

           the impact
of the fear of litigation on the public and private sectors

efficiency of the claims process

           whether the
system is accessible for everyone – or whether it encourages abuse

Arculus said: “Our question is – is litigation the most
effective and efficient regulatory tool for making amends?  Or are the only people that really gain
insurance companies and lawyers?”

“The issue is balance. 
It is important that people are able to enforce their rights and to be
protected, but has it become too difficult for all of us.  Fear of litigation can make businesses and
public sector organisations improve their performance, but it can also put a
huge drain on resources – both in time and money – and result in over
cautiousness.  There are also the
emotional costs of litigation, which can be very stressful.”

Individuals or bodies wishing to give evidence to the review
should do so by contacting the Better Regulation Task Force Secretariat at 5th
Floor, 22 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2WH. Tel: 020 7276 2142; e.mail: taskforce@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk by 30
September 2003. 

By Ben Willmott


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