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News & Events

Minister Mitchell O’Connor appoints Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns as chairperson of the Personal Injuries Commission

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today (Tuesday, 10th January 2017) appointed former President of the HighCourt, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, as chairperson of the Personal Injuries Commission.

The establishment of the Personal Injuries Commission is one of the key recommendations in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance published today by the Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Noonan TD, and the Minister of State for Financial Services, Mr Eoghan Murphy TD. The Report sets out a comprehensive package of measures that tackle many of the identified problems in the motor insurance sector.  

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “I am delighted that Mr Justice Kearns has agreed to chair the Personal Injuries Commission. Justice Kearns brings a wealth of experience that will enable him to lead the Commission in its important work over the next 18 months. I look forward to receiving the outcome of the Commission’s work in due course.”

The purpose of the Personal Injuries Commission is to investigate and make recommendations on processes in other jurisdictions which could enhance the claims process in Ireland. The terms of reference, set out in the Report, include the commissioning of medical research, benchmarking of international awards for personal injury cases, analysing and reporting on international compensation levels and compensation mechanisms.

Membership of the Personal Injuries Commission will include relevant stakeholders and will be finalised in the coming weeks. It is proposed that the Commission will hold its first meeting next month and its work will be phased over an 18 month period.

The Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance is available on the Department of Finance website at www.finance.gov.ie.

Biography of the Chairperson: Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns

Mr Justice Kearns was called to the Bar in 1968. His work over the next 30 years was primarily concerned with personal injuries work. He was appointed to the High Court in 1998 and thereafter to the Supreme Court in 2004. He was made President of the High Court in 2009, a position he continued to occupy until his retirement at the end of 2015. His work as a judge involved a continuing connection with personal injuries work. He also served as Competition judge in the High Court and has sat as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights.


For further information please contact:

Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, ph. 6312221 or press.office@djei.ie