Judicial College Guidelines: Now with Inflation

In the recent decision of Blair v Jaber [2023] EW Misc 3 (CC), Recorder Jack determined that inflation should be taken into account when looking at the Judicial College Guidelines.


The claim itself was brought by two passengers of a taxi who suffered injuries when the taxi braked suddenly at a roundabout.


Recorder Jack made the point about the Judicial College Guidelines at paragraph 17 of the judgement that “The current edition was published on 11th April 2022, nearly a year ago. The figures in this latest edition were probably finalised earlier. Since then, we have had inflation such as has not been seen since the 1970s.”


The Recorder then, interestingly, says in paragraph 18, “I need to consider whether the figures in the guidelines should be increased to take the unexpected and massive increase in inflation into account. Ms Dervin submitted that I should not. That is, she submitted, a matter for the Judicial College to consider. I disagree. The Judicial College Guidelines are just that – guidelines. If there is a change in circumstances between April 2022 and today, that is a matter to take into account when assessing damages. The very substantial drop in the value of money which has taken place since April 2022 is just such a circumstance. Accordingly, the Judicial College figures needs to be increased by, in my judgment, about 12%.” The Judge did not have a copy of the Judicial College Guidelines available, however where he says 12%, this should be corrected to 19.1%.


Whilst we are sure that this is going to cause widespread discussion, it is important to note that this is a decision in the County Court and is therefore not binding.


You can review the case here: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2023/3.html

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