A new way of dealing with Dispute Resolution?
JUSTICE, the law reform and human rights organisation, has recently published a report setting out their proposals for changes to the way in which our Civil justice system resolves disputes.
“In this report, we advocate fundamental change to the way disputes are resolved across the civil courts and tribunals.” - Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity; report by JUSTICE, Executive Summary The aim of the proposed reforms is to increase access to justice for individuals, and make the whole dispute resolution process more accessible to ordinary people.
One of the key recommendations within the report is the introduction of qualified and trained primary dispute resolution officers (registrars). Only the complex cases which necessitate high-level judicial expertise would go before judges. The majority of cases, and all case management issues would be resolved by the registrar using alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and the registrar would also give their neutral evaluation of the issues at an early stage.
The report is the first step in these proposals for dramatic reforms to the Justice system and there is a long way to go before these proposals may be implemented. The report provides a vision of a more accessible and cost effect civil justice system, which will come as a welcomed change by many following the recent drastic increases to Court fees which many feel have restricted access to justice. These changes will likely apply to the resolution of matters such as debt recovery and contract disputes, however the far reaching effects will need to be awaited in due course.
The full report can be read here; http://justice.org.uk/delivering-justice-in-an-age-of-austerity-report-launch/ if you do need any advice upon dispute resolution matters then please contact us.