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The Compensation Culture: Cliché or Cause for Concern?

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The ‘compensation culture’ has featured frequently in the popular press over the last decade. There have, however, been comparatively few academic studies and such studies as there have been have largely focused on personal injury claims. A compensation culture, if it exists, could extend much wider than that. This article compares the exponential increase in the use of the term ‘compensation culture’ in the national printed media since 1995 with available statistics relating to the Queen's Bench, County Courts, and employment tribunals. Far from spiralling upwards, these statistics show a broad decline across a range of claims with the exception of claims before the employment tribunals, where the government has created a slew of new heads of claim. In order to counter the misconceptions founded by the popular media, and to allow for greater scrutiny, more attention should be paid to the collection and dissemination of judicial and claims statistics.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Law, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3DE, England, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2010


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