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The Civil Procedure Rules at 20$
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Andrew Higgins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198863182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198863182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Keep Calm and Keep Litigating

Keep Calm and Keep Litigating

(p.25) 2 Keep Calm and Keep Litigating
The Civil Procedure Rules at 20

Andrew Higgins

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of some of the key challenges facing the civil justice system. It considers the case for redefining proportionate costs exclusively by reference to the private value of the claim, and the public interest in the determination of the issues raised by the claim. To achieve this goal, it may be necessary to split the dual functions of the system—rule clarification on the one hand, and dispute resolution on the other. The chapter also considers whether there is cultural resistance to making the justice system more accessible, based on a belief that litigation is divisive. Any such view should be rejected because it artificially separates the litigation process from the underlying dispute giving rise to it. The chapter concludes by presenting some empirical data on civil claims rates and media coverage of litigation. The data suggests that litigation in England is actually higher than in other advanced economies. While media coverage evidences concern about England developing a ‘compensation culture’, there is limited coverage of UK Supreme Court decisions establishing the legal principles that govern people’s everyday interaction. Accordingly, there is a risk that the public may develop a skewed picture of the law.

Keywords:   proportionality, dispute resolution, precedent, access to justice, civil protests and conflict, claim rates, media coverage, compensation culture

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