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statement from the Ministry of Justice: reforms to the civil courts

16 September 2016

The Ministry of Justice has just released a statement, Transforming Our Justice System, together with a consultation paper which sets out aims to achieve a justice system that is just, proportionate and accessible to everyone. 

This approach includes reforms to the Civil Courts designed to help lead to swifter decision making and includes:

  1. A new online process that will build on Lord Justice Briggs’ proposals of the ‘online court’. This aims to resolve many disputes online, leaving judicial time for more complex cases.
  2. An increase in signposting to mediation and ADR services to help people avoid litigation for minor disputes.
  3. Extending the fixed recoverable costs regime to ensure that the costs of going to Court are clearer and proportionate.
  4. Enabling the High Court to issue attachment of earnings orders which will provide a further enforcement option for users of the High Court. 
The consultation paper, which closes on 27 October 2016, has 11 questions and invites the public and interested stakeholders to give their views on using the online systems, digitalising convictions and fixed fines, the arrangements for panel composition in the Tribunals and assessing the equalities impact that these would all have.

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