The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill received Royal Assent on 5 June, formally passing into statute. When a Bill receives Royal Assent it becomes an Act of Parliament and may come into effect that day, after a set period or only when a commencement order is made.
In our earlier legal update, which can be found here, we commented that the Act lacks significant detail and that secondary legislation will be required to allow practical implementation. For that reason it is perhaps unsurprising that little of the Act is now in force.
Only Part 6 of the Act came into immediate effect; Part 5 will come into force on 5 August. Part 6 empowers the Scottish Parliament to pass the necessary secondary legislation and part 5 allows for a five year review of the Act by the Scottish Ministers, who will report to the Scottish Parliament. Part 6 also provides that the rest of the Act will come into force when Scottish Ministers appoint it via regulation. As yet no such date has been provided.
The form and content of the subsidiary rules will be directed by the Scottish Civil Justice Council through its Personal Injury and Costs & Funding committees. Although it was confirmed on 14 May that the committees are working on the rules, no timescale for completion was given. Given the work that remains to be done, it may be some time before the principal provisions of the Act are in force.