151. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice if proposals have been made to Government to change the Occupiers Liability Act 1995 and Civil Liability Act 2002 in order to reform the duty of care and increase protections for consumers, business, sporting clubs and community groups; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57916/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Insurance reform is a key priority for this Government and is reflected in the Programme for Government, the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, and in the Justice Plan 2021.
In accordance with the Action Plan on Insurance Reform, my Department has completed a review of the Occupiers’ Liability Act, including the duty of care and notices and waivers.
Under that review, we have considered relevant current legislation in Ireland and other common law jurisdictions, as well as notable Irish case law. Subsequently, my Department has identified a number of options in relation to occupiers’ liability which the review has recommended pursuing.
One option is to reform the law in line with recent superior court rulings, which sought to bring “ordinary common sense” to bear on personal injuries cases and usually led to a dismissal or reduction in the award granted.
Another is to adopt a 1994 Law Reform Commission recommendation introducing voluntary assumption of risk, where if a person willingly places themselves in a position they know might result in harm, they cannot bring a claim against the other party.
My Department is currently engaging with the Office of the Attorney General on progressing both of these recommendations. It is my intention that final proposals on this matter will be brought to Government for its approval as part of a General Scheme of a Bill in due course.