Lord Woolf’s Reforms

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Essay Title: “Although settlement, rather than litigation, poses a number of problems for a civil justice system these matters have been largely resolved by Lord Woolf’s reforms.”

What is civil justice system?
There are several definitions for the civil justice system.
Every civilized system of government requires that the state should make available to all its citizens a means for the just and peaceful settlement of disputes between them as to their respective legal rights. The means provided are courts of justice to which every citizen has a constitutional right of access.
Lord Diplock in Bremer Vulkan Schiffb au and Maschinenfabrik v South India Shipping Corp. [1981] AC 909, HL, p. 976.

The justification of a legal system and procedures must be one of lesser evils, that legal resolution of disputes is preferable to blood feuds, rampant crime and violence.
M. Bayles, ‘Principles for legal procedure’, Law and Philosophy, 5:1 (1986), 33–57, 57.

The first impulse of a rudimentary soul is to do justice by his own hand. Only at the cost of mighty historical efforts has it been possible to supplant in the human soul the idea of self-obtained justice by the idea of justice entrusted to authorities.
Eduardo J. Couture, ‘The nature of the judicial process’, Tulane Law Review, 25 (1950), 1–28, 7.

There have been over 60 official reports on the subject of civil processing the past. Latest published reports were Evershed Report in 1953, the report of the Winn Committee in 1968, the Cantley Working Party in 1979, the Civil Justice Review in the late 1980s and the Woolf. All those reports are focused on the same objects like how to reduce complexity, delay and the cost of civil litigation.

What are the problems before reforms?
This is a mere compare of the pre-Woolf and post-Woolf civil landscape without baseline statistics. As research for the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on the pre-Woolf litigation landscape (pre-1999) demonstrates that:



Bibliography: * http://www.lawteacher.net/english-legal-system/lecture-notes/civil-justice-review.php * Cambridge University Press: 978-0-521-11894-1 - Judging Civil Justice: Hazel Genn: Excerpt * D. Gladwell, ‘Modern Litigation Culture: the first six months of the Civil Justice reforms in England and Wales ' 19 Civil Justice Quarterly, 2000 pp. 9-18 * Gary Slapper and David Kelly, The English Legal System 9th edition, Routledge.Cavendish, Chapter 9(The Civil Process), pg 369. * P. Fenn, N. Rickman and D. Vencappa, ‘The impact of Woolf Reforms on cost and delay '(2009), www.nottingham.ac.uk/business/cris/papers/2009-1.pdf.

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