06 October, 2016
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, and the Senior President of Tribunals have issued a joint statement on their shared vision for the future. The statement titled "Transforming Our Justice System" sets out its vision of a "courts and tribunal system that is just, and proportionate and accessible to everyone."
The report states that the intended reforms will promote the full range of methods of settling disputes more swiftly, at less cost and with greater choice.
The government intends to speed up resolution of claims by replacing paper and post with digital working. Currently, it states that a 'fast track' claim with a value between £10,000-£25,000 takes 11 months to be resolved. Under the proposed new digital model, it is claimed that cases will be handled faster and in a more convenient way, improving the experience for everyone making and defending claims in the civil courts.
The statement also touches on the issue of fixed costs, stating that more needs to be done to control the costs of civil cases so they are proportionate to the case, and so that legal costs are more certain from the start. The government also confirmed that they plan to extend the application of fixed recoverable costs.
Liz Truss appears to indicate her intention to press ahead with fixed recoverable costs, possibly a nod towards Jackson's recommendation to apply fixed costs to all civil cases up to £250,000 or perhaps even further.
There is a consultation on the paper until 27 October 2016. The full paper can be found here.