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Queen's Speech set to recognise good deeds with new law

The Queen is set to announce new legal provisions in the Queen's Speech that will protect those who perform good deeds from liability claims, reports the BBC.

The new law is designed to prevent those who offer their services to their community for free from later being subjected to legal claims against them for liabilities they incur whilst performing civic duties.

The Queen's Speech, which marks the state opening of Parliament for the 2014-15 session, is used by the government of the day to announce its legislative agenda for the forthcoming year.

It is understood that the Queen will tell Parliament that her government plans to enact a new law in England and Wales that will allow judges to show leniency in cases where the defendant incurred a liability in the course of doing a good deed.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) claims that people are deterred from volunteering to carry out good deeds because of a threat of liability. They cite examples where volunteers were prevented from helping to clean up broken glass on a busy street because of concerns if they hurt themselves.

The MoJ also claim that street parties and community events are often prevented from taking place because councils demand up to £5m in public liability insurance, making holding such an event too expensive.

The new law will force judges to give weight to three factors when ruling in litigation cases, including where individuals are participating in an activity that is good for society, where they are acting responsibly and where someone steps in to help in an emergency.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "I want a society where common sense is the order of the day, and I believe this measure will help us get there."