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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

Rule-Making for a Digital Court Process

Rule-Making for a Digital Court Process

The Civil Procedure Rules—20th Anniversary Conference, 2019

(p.57) 3 Rule-Making for a Digital Court Process
The Civil Procedure Rules at 20

Terence Etherton

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the challenges of developing procedural rules for digital court processes, which will become a significant feature of the civil justice landscape in the coming years. The present HMCTS Reform Programme is to deliver a more efficient, effective and high performing courts system through the use of new technology. Experience to date in developing digital dispute resolution initiatives in each of the individual existing jurisdictions—Civil, Family and Tribunal—has made clear the need for a different way of approaching rule making. On the one hand, there must be proper judicial oversight of, and input into, the technical design work of the programmers designing the new digital processes. On the other hand, these processes are constantly being refined in light of testing and user feedback and it would be unworkable if every change required a new rule. There are also considerable technical challenges in developing digital processes. We must be careful not to be overly ambitious in developing such processes, or forget the needs of those who struggle to use them. However, early experience in this jurisdiction, particularly with the Online Civil Money Claims project, and other jurisdictions around the world, suggests that this initiative will provide a great improvement to access to justice for the many tens of thousands of people with small or modest claims and for those with limited resources.

Keywords:   digital court processes, HMCTS Reform Programme, Civil Procedure Rules, rule making, access to justice

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