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Introduction

The
civil justice system is initially designed to sort out any disagreements
between individuals as well as organisations. This can mean the claimant is
suing the defendant for any depts, or any harm done for example a traffic
incident. And of course, there are many other reasons for why the civil justice
system was made. Following that Lord Woolf was asked to carry out his own
review on the civil justice system. His recommendations were emerged in his
report ‘Access to Justice in 1996’. Lord Woolf’s intentions were to decrease
the cost, delay and complexity of the civil justice system and increase access
to the justice.

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A
survey was carried out in 1995 by the National Consumer Council which
discovered that 3 out of 4 people who are involved in legal disputes were
dissatisfied with the civil justice system. Out of the 1,019 respondents who
took part in the survey, 77 percent said that the system was too slow, 74
percent have said that the system is too complicated, and 73 percent have said
that it is hostile and old-fashioned.

The
criticism from the lawyers, the judiciary and litigants about the civil justice
system continued to the point that the previous Conservative Government
appointed Lord Woolf to carry out a review. His investigation was the 63rd
review in the last 100 years. The 3 endless problems were the cost, delay and
complexity that have been wreaking the civil justice system for a long time and
Lord Woolf wanted to make changes to that and hopefully improve the civil
justice system.  

Lord
Woolf wanted to eradicate the faults in the civil system which were mainly the
fact that it was too expensive, too slow, missing equality between the powerful
and wealthy plaintiffs and under-resourced plaintiffs, too uncertain in terms
of the length and cost of the process, too fragmented and too argumentative.

Overall Civil Justice System Review

Costs- The costs were disproportionate to the amount of 98
percent of the average damages which were awarded in the county court and 26.5
percent to the high court. Delay- The
delays in doing something and getting the cases to court were considered to
have damaging results on the evidence and the witnesses. The results would
often come very late. Because of this the publics confidence in justice has
dropped.                    Complexity-
Cases which didn’t require a lot of time to be solved because they involved
simple points of the law took much more time and resources than they needed of
the high court.

The
solution for these would be improving the management of the courts and having
to balance the costs and efficiency.

Lord Woolf’s proposals

Lord
Woolf recommended that these changes should be made to improve the civil
justice system:

o   Litigation will be avoided wherever possible

o   Litigation will be less argumentative and more cooperative

o   Litigation will be less complex

o   The timescale of litigation will be shorter and
more certain

o   The cost of litigation will be more affordable,
more predictable, and more proportionate to the value and complexity of individual
cases

o   Parties of limited financial means will be able to
conduct litigation on a more equal footing

o   There will be clear lines of judicial and administrate
responsibility for the civil justice system

o   Judges will be deployed effectively so that they
can manage litigation in accordance with the new rules and protocols

o   The civil justice system will be responsive to the
needs to litigations

 

 

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