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The Civil Money Claim Online: The Flagship Project of Court Digitalization in England and Wales

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posted on 2019-10-25, 12:58 authored by Pablo Cortés, Toru Takagi
An ambitious program of court reform is being promoted under the collaboration between the senior judiciary and the Ministry of Justice, which seeks to digitalise and modernise the operation of courts and tribunals in England and Wales. 2 An investment of £1billion has been committed for the reform, from which over £700 million has been allocated to modernize and digitalise the civil justice system. 3 The reform, which is currently being implemented and it is due to be completed by 2023, has been greatly influenced by the report from Lord Justice Briggs, which was commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, to review the civil courts in England and Wales and make recommendations for structural change. The Final Report, published in July 2016, 4 follows other landmark reports that informed significant legislative reforms in the field of civil procedure; notably, the Woolf Reports on Access to Justice in 1995 and 19965 which heavily influenced the present Civil Procedure Rules 1998, and the Jackson Report on Costs in 2010 6 whose recommendations were mostly included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in 2012 (LASPO). The recommendations made in the Brigg’s report cover a wide range of matters, including enforcement and appeals, and seek to increase access to justice, especially for litigants in person without legal representation (hereinafter, LIPs) with small and medium value claims. In his Report Lord Briggs observed that: “The single most pervasive and indeed shocking weakness of our civil court is that they fail to provide reasonable access to justice for the ordinary individuals.” 7 Greater access and efficiency is expected to be achieved with the digitalisation of the civil justice process, yet online access will not be mandatory for LIP who would still be able to use a paper route for their claims. In this regard, the Lord Chief Justice recently noted that: “Technology will be our servant, not our master and provides scope for our courts to resolve disputes more quickly [and] less expensively.” 8 An example of this efficiency can already be seen in the Civil Money Claims pilot, which shows that the average time to issue a claim online is 10 minutes, while in the traditional legacy system it takes 15 days.9



Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, 2019, 25 (8), pp. 207-212

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Computer and Telecommunications Law Review


Sweet and Maxwell



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