Applying common sense?

Sometimes you read something and think, “well yes” and then wonder why that wasn’t always the case, which is somewhat the case in my mind over this little gem.


Workers ‘should not be able to sue for accidents if it’s their fault’ says review
Employees would lose the right to sue when they are are injured at work because of their own mistakes, under new health and safety reforms.
In a review published next week there are calls for a ‘rebalancing’ of safety laws and a dramatic reduction in the number of rules in the workplace.
Worker accidents cost businesses almost £8 billion a year in compensation, according to an estimate by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

I’ve watched with interest the no win no fee legal free for all develop over the last 15 years since Labour relaxed the legal route for compensation in order to give lawyers a good little earner via the public purse and the courts, but I must admit it never really occurred to me that people who were obviously to blame were chancing their arm at the system in the hope of some sort of payout, bit naive of me I know, considering some of the legal decisions I’ve railed against over the years. I suppose the clue was in “no win, no fee” bit.

Still, this decision if it comes to pass does make a deal of sense, though I rather suspect the legal ramifications in deciding exactly who was to blame will become somewhat contrived as we’ve sometimes seen in the USA where people have successfully sued because their cup did not explicitly state that the coffee in it was hot, blame and common sense within the legal world not having the same meaning to you or I.

That’s not to say I believe people should be denied recourse to the legal system, just that somehow or other the law should be applied common sense rather than a set of legal statutes and protocols which for all they are supposed to be balanced, still means the English and Welsh legal system is still based on property rights rather than injury, in other words you’ll end up with a bigger sentence for theft than for hitting someone.

I do wonder at times though if common sense and the law of the land will ever be comfortable partners, I suspect it might just take a revolution to sort things out.

First rule of a revolution, hang the politicians, second rule, hang the lawyers, pour encourager les autres.

5 comments for “Applying common sense?

  1. john in cheshire
    November 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    In so far as you go, I agree but would ask that judges are added to the list and a preference of mine, is that all socialists are severely punished, if not hanged, but most definitely kept away from both money and power. And to my mind, socialists are doing their worst in private as well as public bodies.

  2. Damo
    November 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    This reminds me of my local copper who sued for damages because he fell off the toilet boil in the local nick… and won. I kid you not.

    Anyway, it’s a good idea to hold people accountable for their actions and mistakes. My only concern is unions and employee groups demanding in house training from how to hold hot coffee cups to the correct way to wipe your bottom in a safe manner.

  3. Ian
    November 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    It’s hard to imagine the EU agreeing to this. Health and safety is one of their “competencies”.

  4. nisakiman
    November 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    But, but, but, it’s always somebody else’s fault. We are no longer responsible for our own actions, by decree of Our Beloved Leader.

  5. monoi
    November 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

    You can’t really blame the lawyers. If there is not a judge agrreing somewhere along the line, or the law gives them ammunitions, lawyers cannot do much.

    As it is, the system is still highly loaded against the ordinary member of the public, especially when having suffered bureaucracy’s incompetence.

    So I am quite thankful for no fee no win lawyers.

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