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Civil Procedure Introduction Notes

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This is an extract of our Civil Procedure Introduction document, which we sell as part of our Civil Procedure Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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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 PS23.3bk- 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 nowin-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

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