• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Woolf Reforms

Extracts from this document...


a) Explain the changes applied by the civil courts as a result of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 Before the implementation of the Woolf reforms the Civil Justice Review was set up in 1985 by the Lord Chancellor in response to public criticism of the delay, cost and complexity of the civil court system. These key problem areas were also picked up on in Lord Woolf's report in 1996, he stated that a civil justice system should be just in the results it delivers, be fair in the way it treats litigants, offer appropriate procedures at a reasonable cost, deal with cases with reasonable speed, be understandable to those who use it, be responsive to the needs of those who use it, provide as much certainty as the nature of particular cases allows and, be effective, adequately resourced and organised. Lord Woolf claimed that the system failed to achieve all these goals, and also commented that this failure was inevitable, as some of the aims conflict with others, such as promoting efficiency in terms of speed conflicts with the need of fairness. While conflicting interests may mean it is impossible to achieve a civil justice system that satisfies everyone, there were serious concerns that the civil justice system before the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 was giving satisfaction to only a small minority of users. ...read more.


It provides a cheap and simple mechanism for resolving small-scale consumer disputes. Fast-track cases will normally be dealt with by the county court. Under this track the maximum length of trial is normally one day, and should be held within thirty weeks of the original claim. Multi-track cases are sometimes heard in county courts, but most likely within the High Court, depending on the complexity of the case at hand. Unlike fast-track cases, the court does not automatically set a trial date; instead it will fix this as soon as it is practicable to do so. One of the most significant changes to the civil system made be the Woolf reforms concerned the approach to legal costs. Under the old system there was a basic principle that the loser of the case paid the winner's costs, however, with the new rules the judge can give sanctions to alter who pays what. Where a party has not complied with court directions, they can be penalised by being ordered to pay heavier costs, or by losing the right to have some or all of their costs paid. These are just a few examples of the dramatic change the Civil Procedure Rules have had to the civil court system. ...read more.


There has only been a slight increase in the number of small claims cases. Most small claims litigants involved in relatively high value claims are satisfied with the experience. However, there are long-standing concerns about the small claims procedure, which have not been tackled by the Civil Procedure Rules. It is the view taken by many that the small claims procedure is not simple enough; the process still puts a lot of pressure on participants, and the level of formality varies. The system is still largely used by small businesses, rather than by the individual consumer for whom it was set up. A consultation paper was issued in 1995 suggesting that, in limited cases, the judge might be given the power to award an additional sum of up to �135 to cover the cost of legal advice and assistance in preparation of the case. If this reform were to be introduced it might assist individual consumer to bring their cases. Overall, the general feeling of the new Civil Procedure Rules is that some work needs to be completed but that is can be achieved; the reform of the civil justice system is generally a qualified success. There is more co-operation between the parties and more people are using ADR rather than settling at trial. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rebecca Turner Assignment 6.12 08/04/2009 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the name given to the process where parties in ...

    5 star(s)

    Multi track cases with two pre trial hearings will generate even more additional costs and this is reflected in front loading of costs which does not solve the problem of expensive litigation. Pre Action Protocols were also proposed where there was a strict timetable for the exchange of documents and

  2. Recommendations of the Woolf Report 1996.

    The procedure still allows the District Judge to be flexible in the way he hears the case but the process is no longer as informal as under the previous system. 2. The fast track. This is used for straightforward disputes of �5,000 to �15,000.

  1. Disputes - Is ADR always more appropriate or does attending court sometimes providing a ...

    The judge exercises case-management, involving pre-trial hearings between the parties and the laying down of a timetable to bring the case to court. 8. In the past, lot of people usually took legal action to resolve their dispute.

  2. The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

    This was quickly followed by his final report "Access to Justice" in July 1996, which triggered some important changes in the civil justice system through the Civil Procedure Act (1997) and the new Civil Procedure Rules (1998). However, despite these reforms, litigation in Civil Courts has still a number of drawbacks that makes the access to justice difficult.

  1. Microsoft Antitrust Case Microsoft is a large diversified computer software manufacturer. Microsoft produces ...

    judge defined as the ability of an abundance of applications running Windows. 4. Microsoft used its monopoly power in the personal computer operating systems market to exclude rivals and harm competitors. 5. Microsoft hobbled the innovation process. 6. Microsoft's actions harmed consumers.

  2. Policing Using New Technologies

    unarmed civilians such as the Brazilian man that had been killed by the police who stunned the individual with a Taser. There is fear by some individuals from the public of being intimidated by police, with the view of being fired upon by them.

  1. Expert Testimony and Its Value In the Justice System

    The evidence must be sufficiently reliable so that it can be used to make important decisions in cases. Although the expert may be highly reliable the evidence which they provide may not be, which clearly highlights the problems which can occur regardless whether the test for suitability is objective or subjective.

  2. The English Court System

    Small businesses occasionally go before small claims courts when the size of the claim that they follow fits the court's limits. This form of trial has the lowest costs. Unfortunately it is occasionally difficult also to enforce the court's rulings.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work