This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Law Notes Civil Procedure Notes

Civil Procedure Introduction Notes

Updated Civil Procedure Introduction Notes

Civil Procedure Notes

Civil Procedure

Approximately 123 pages

Civil Procedure notes fully updated for recent exams in the UK. These notes cover all the major points and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London). These notes were formed directly from a reading of the cases and main texts and are vigorous, concise and very well written.

Everything is conveniently split up by topic as you can see by the list of files b...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Civil Procedure Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Civil Procedure: Introductory matters

Malleson and Moules: The Legal System

Introduction

Trends and themes

Increase in size and growth in economic and political importance of the legal system. Argues that the impact of this expansion includes an acceleration of the pace and amount of reform to the legal system and an intensification of the debate about its role and function.

Private enterprise driven and responsive to market forces, OR a public service requiring state subsidies and public participation.

The expansion of the legal system

Number of solicitors and barristers has expanded from fewer than 30k in 1970 to over 110k in 2009, while the judiciary has experienced a ten-fold increase in numbers over the same period to 3,000 judges.

Political and economic significance of the legal system

2006-7 the turnover of the legal profession reached 23.3bk- doubled since 1997.

The pace of change in the legal system

In the last decade the civil justice has undergone a complete overhaul in the reforms proposed by Lord Woolf with the aim of increasing the speed and fairness of the system and reducing its cost.

Efficiency versus quality of justice

The introduction of new ways to fund the legal system and attempts to encourage competition in the legal profession has led to reforms such as the introduction of the American-style no-win-no-fee conditional fee arrangements; the reduction of cases eligible for legal aid and the abolition of the solicitors’ monopoly on conveyancing; and the barristers’ monopoly on advocacy in the higher courts.

Does replacing legal aid with conditional fees increase access to justice or reduce it?

Access to justice versus litigation reduction

The legal system can be seen as a pyramid. Although overall it has expanded significantly, only very few cases ever reach the upper echelons of the system. The vast majority of legal problems are dealt with privately, leaving the court system serving the function of a relatively expensive and time-consuming last resort. Most cases that do reach the courts are heard in the lower courts and processed quickly through the system, with a full trial in the higher courts being statistically an unusual outcome for a case and making up only a tiny fraction of the legal system at the top of the pyramid.

The description of the legal system as a pyramid is now more accurate than ever before. The idea that access to justice means the availability of a full court hearing has been widely rejected. Instead, it has been reconceptualised to mean access to advice and assistance which helps promote alternative means of settling disputes so that the court system represents a last resort for the small minority of cases that cannot be resolved in any other way. This change in attitude towards the role of litigation and the anxiety which the prospect of the development of a more litigious society generally promotes reveals an interesting paradox at the heart of the justice system. On the one hand, the RoL is considered a keystone of a democratic society; yet on the hold, the legal system is regarded as a costly, time-consuming, and often destructive way to deal with social or economic problems. This tension runs through the legal system. Access to justice is recognised as a measure of the effectiveness of the legal system, yet the rising caseloads in the court are viewed as an alarm. It seems that we are not sure whether we want more justice or less.

Private versus public justice

Civil justice is expected to be largely self-funded and provided by private practioners.

Since the 1990s, court fees charged for bring a case to court have been set at levels which will cover the full court costs of the case.

This particularly radial change, the effective privatisation of a key feature of the justice process, has come about with little attention outside the legal world and very little public debate.

Lay versus professional justice

Inquisitorial versus adversarial justice

The courts have introduced a more inquisitorial-style control of cases by judges in the civil justice system and a greater pre-trial disclosure of evidence.

Cranston: How Law Works (2006)

Chapter I: Introduction

Ali (2003) – in CoA Clarke LJ held that it would only be in an exceptional case, if ever, that a court would order security for costs if the order would stifle a claim or an appeal. In any event an order should not ordinarily be made until the party concerned could be shown to be regularly flouting proper court procedures or otherwise to be demonstrating a lack of will to litigate as economically and expeditiously as reasonably possible. The weakness of a party’s case would ordinarily be relevant only where it had no real prospect of succeeding.

Clarke referred to “the fundamental importance of access to the Courts”. It was unnecessary to rely on the Article 6 jurisprudence under the ECHR, he held, because cases prior and subsequent to the CPR recognised the fundamental value that individuals are generally entitled to untrammelled access to the courts, subject only to the sanction that they are in peril of an adverse costs order if unsuccessful.

The CPR forbids a court to order security for costs on the ground of an individual C’s inability to pay, unless resident in some specified overseas jurisdictions. It extends that principle to appeals (r25). However, the case management power, r3, confers a wide power to stay cases, or to make case management orders with conditions attached such as the payment of security for costs. Clarke LJ reconciled these different provisions and held that the courts have the jurisdiction to make such orders, but the discretion to do so could not be unlimited in the light of the principles governing access to the courts.

Three features = values, procedures and social context.

VALUES - Access to justice is clearly a fundamental value directly relevant to the working of the law, along with others like equality before the law and the rule of law. Lawyers are...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Civil Procedure Notes.