Civil Courts Structure Review: Final Report Published

Lord Justice Briggs has published his final report following his review of the civil courts structure.

Within his detailed report, Lord Justice Briggs makes a number of recommendations, including the following:

  • An online court should be established for claims up to £25,000. This should be a user friendly forum which litigants can use with minimal assistance from lawyers and should, in time, become the compulsory venue for issuing claims within its jurisdiction;
  • Case officers should undertake some of the functions currently carried out by judges that are on paper or non-contentious. Case officers will be supervised by judges and their decisions subject to reconsideration by a judge upon application;
  • Enforcement of orders should be channelled through a single court (the County Court), although there should be some scope for some enforcement issues to be transferred to the High Court;
  • Out of hours mediation services should be re-established in County Court hearing centres;
  • An urgent remedy is required to address the shortage of circuit judges in the County Court specialising in civil work; and
  • The concept of the District Registry as the venue to issue High Court proceedings should be abolished in favour of a single portal for the issue of all civil proceedings.