Having received Privy Council assent earlier this month, the Damages (Jersey) Law 2019 has been registered by the Royal Court this morning, 26 April 2019, and will come into in force on 3 May 2019.
The Law introduces a new statutory, two-tiered, discount rate and creates a statutory power to award damages by way of a Periodical Payment Order to cover future care costs and loss of earnings.
The discount rates which the Law implements are as follows:
- +0.5% - where the lump sum is to cover a period of up to 20 years
- +1.8% - where the damages will cover a period of more than 20 years (applicable to the whole of the award, not just the costs arising after the first 20 years)
The immediate impact of the two tiered Discount Rate will be interesting, amidst the ongoing reviews of the Discount Rates in England and Wales, and Scotland, reviews which are likely to propose a single discount rate for all relevant claims.
Following the implementation of the Law in Jersey, it has recently been confirmed that Guernsey will be aligning with Jersey, England, Wales and Scotland, by moving to introduce a statutory discount rate of its own.
A States of Guernsey Policy Letter (similar to a UK white paper) proposing the introduction of a statutory discount rate was debated by the States and subsequently passed in March.
The necessary legislation is currently being drafted and will then be put before the States for approval. The legislation will enable the introduction of a statutory discount rate with the setting of the rate to be carried out by the Policy & Resources Committee.