Procedure

Asbestos documents must be disclosed to pressure group, High Court rules

RCJ portrait

A huge collection of documents, including “those relating to the history and development of knowledge in the 20th Century about the risks of asbestos”, must be disclosed to the public, the High Court has ruled. It said a man who made the application on behalf of an asbestos victims’ support group had a “legitimate interest” in the documents.

December 13th, 2017

Solicitors “at risk of contempt finding” by signing statement of truth in bogus claims, judge warns

Mr Justice Warby

The High Court has raised the prospect of solicitors who sign statements of truth on behalf of fraudulent clients being held in contempt of court. Mr Justice Warby suggested that the Civil Procedure Rule Committee should look at the issue.

December 7th, 2017

New hot-tubbing and ‘costs of costs management’ rules come into force

percent sign

Variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – came into force last week, along with a new provision that clarifies how the costs of costs management should be calculated.

December 1st, 2017

Administrative birth injury claims scheme to start in 2019, says Hunt

Newborn baby boy

There is “strong support” for the key aims of the government’s planned administrative compensation scheme for birth injury claims and it will hopefully go live in 2019, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed. The ‘rapid resolution and redress’ scheme forms part of the Department of Health’s maternity safety strategy.

November 30th, 2017

Leading judge warns litigants not to start playing games over “minor procedural glitches”

Mr Justice Coulson

The incoming deputy head of civil justice has warned parties not to abuse the courts’ tougher approach to rule compliance. Mr Justice Coulson said applications based on “minor procedural glitches” were on the rise, having all but dried up following the 2014 ruling in Denton.

November 28th, 2017

Press regulator backs low-cost arbitration in “access to justice” bid

News of the World

A voluntary newspaper regulator yesterday launched a dispute resolution scheme that requires an up-front payment of just £50 to kick off a legal claim, with a further £50 payable only if the case goes to final ruling. The scheme was set up by IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, created in the wake of Lord Justice Leveson’s  inquiry to replace the Press Complaints Commission.

November 28th, 2017

CPRC: no need yet for new privacy rule on costs in environmental cases

Bird

There is no immediate need for the Civil Procedure Rule Committee to introduce a new privacy rule for certain costs issues in environmental cases as it could conflict with its open justice review, it has decided. It was responding to a High Court ruling that said hearings about costs protection limits should be held in private.

November 22nd, 2017

Scientists and lawyers team up to provide evidence primers for judges

Inaugural Harbour Litigation Funding Annual Lecture - 8 May 2013

The judiciary has worked with the Royal Society to create primers on scientific evidence as a working tool for judges. The first two cover DNA fingerprinting and techniques identifying people from the way they walk from CCTV, so as to assist the judiciary when handling forensic scientific evidence in the courtroom.

November 22nd, 2017

Sumption deprecates fault-based liability for PI claims and predicts statutory damages

Lord Sumption 2

Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption has outlined his dislike of fault-based liability for personal injury claims but admitted it is unlikely to be replaced by a no-fault system. However, he predicted that the principle of full indemnity would be abolished and replaced by a statutory measure of damages.

November 21st, 2017

New rule to emphasise that no Business & Property Courts case is “to big to be heard outside London”

Business & Property Courts Rolls Building

There is to be a new part of the Civil Procedure Rules to deal with the launch of the Business and Property Courts to emphasise that no case is too big to be tried outside London, it has been decided. The Chancellor of the High Court said the idea was to have “a critical mass of specialist judges in each regional centre.

November 20th, 2017

Blog

All I want for Christmas is…

Stack of documents and papers

This is my valedictory blog for 2017. I am grateful to my loyal reader for enduring the polluted flushings of my diseased mind over the past six months. It has been fun to write and I hope that I have given the reader an insight into the world of a litigation flaneur. Before I bid you happy holidays, I would like to share with you my two wishes for Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, these relate to litigation finance and not my personal desires, which include a solid gold house, rocket shoes and the power to become invisible at will.

December 12th, 2017

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