Common law reasoning and institution
Essay title: ‘This is the Court of Chancery… which gives to monied might the means abundantly of wearying out the right; which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope; so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart; that there is no tan honorable man among its practitioners who would not give – who does not often give – the warning, “Suffer any wrong that can be done you, rather than come here”.’ (Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853, Penguin Classics 1971: 51)
To what extent, if any, does this warning hold true today in the civil justice process?
The civil justice system is designed to sort out disputes between individuals or organizations. One party, known as the claimant, sues the other, called defendant, usually for money they claim is owed or for compensation for a harm to their interests, like for example the victim of a car accident suing the driver of the car for compensation. But, however, filing a law suit or claiming damages has not been as easy as it theoretically seems, especially in the field of civil justice.
It can be easily observed from the history of English Civil Justice System how things used to and still work. It cannot be better explained in the following:
‘Jarndyce v Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in the course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least;….. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it….there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce v Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless [Bleak House, 1853, Charles Dickens]. Holdsworth1 makes much of the fact that Dickens’s novel opens in physical fog and this fog is indicative of the
Bibliography: * 1: ibid,85 Geary, Adam, Morrison, Wayne and Jago, Robert “politics of the common law” pg 292 (2009) (book) * 2: Trade, ibid, 87 Geary, Adam, Morrison, Wayne and Jago, Robert “Politics Of the Common Law” pg 292 (2009) (book) * Slapper, Gary and Kelly, David “The English Legal System” 10th edt (book) * Civil Justice Quarterly 20 oct 2001 301-302,[ Westlaw UK] * judging civil justice system, Michael Zander qc ( Study Pack UoL) * Civil Justice System, Michael Zander, [Westlaw UK] * Solving Civil Justice System: what might be best?, Professor Genn, dame hazel [Westlaw UK] * Civil Litigation Reforms, 1999, LCD, p1