The personal injury discount rate: How should it be set?

Closed 14 Aug 2020

Opened 17 Jun 2020

Results updated 28 Oct 2020

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The Department of Justice is seeking views on possible changes to the legal framework for setting the personal injury discount rate. 

In a personal injury case, compensation awarded to a successful claimant will include damages for any future financial losses, such as loss of earnings and cost of care, which are usually paid in a lump sum. The discount rate is applied by a court to adjust the award to take account of the return that may be earned from investing it, in accordance with the legal principle that claimants should be fully compensated for their losses but no more and no less.

Why we are consulting

When setting the discount rate, the Department of Justice currently has to apply legal principles set out in a decision of the House of Lords. England and Wales and Scotland, however, have made primary legislation that changed how their discount rates are set, taking account of evidence about how claimants invest their lump sum award. In view of this, the Department of Justice considers that it is timely to review the legal framework for setting the discount rate in Northern Ireland.

Consultees are asked for views on whether the new legal framework in England and Wales, or that in Scotland, would be appropriate for Northern Ireland or for suggestions about a suitable alternative framework.

We welcome views from everyone with an interest in personal injury litigation.

We intend to publish a summary of responses on our website on completion of the consultation process. However, any contact details, which will identify a respondent as a private individual, will be removed prior to publication.

The consultation document, response questionnaire, screening form and regulatory impact assessment can also be viewed on the Department of Justice’s website at:




  • Citizens


  • Civil Justice