Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Two documents: A manifesto for justice and the Jackson Report on Costs in Civil Cases

We are now in the phoney war prior to the general election campaign kicking off proper. A coalition of legal and campaigning organisations, including the Bar Council, Legal Action Group and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), has just launched "A manifesto for justice" setting out important points and principles for discussion in the months leading up to this year’s general election. The manifesto calls for an effective justice system and stresses the importance of good governance and the rule of law. Well worth a read and it is not too long.

Unfortunately, the law is generally associated with cost, difficulty and delay. It has been said, sarcastically, that "Justice, like the Ritz Hotel, is open to all." The large costs of bringing a civil case have been looked at by Lord Justice Jackson and he has now reported – see The Jackson report. It is a detailed and lengthy document but it makes important recommendations. The timing of the report might be somewhat poor given the impending election and the fact that implementation of some of the recommendations will require legislation. It is to be hoped that this valuable report is not allowed to gather dust. The Ministry of Justice has stated that it will look at the recommendations in depth and "will set out the way forward in due course."

The reactions of some lawyers to the Jackson Report may be read at The Lawyer. Further comment is at Solicitors Journal and Legalweek.


  1. Nice post - have also blogged this at my tutor2U.com Law blog for teachers, and linked to your site on my blog for students, www.loretolaw.blogspot.com
    Best wishes

    Andy Howells

  2. Thank you Mr Howells. An interesting item about legal education appeared on Charon QC's blog this morning (21st January). He referred to the estimable "Student Law" pages of The Times. I was particularly struck by one item relating to the attitude of some schools to the Bar as a possible career. I am sure you would find this interesting.

  3. Great to have found your blog-courtesy of The Magistrates Blog mention.But my first thought was how to make sure it's read by more non lawyers than lawyers(of whom I'm another retired one)

    So I was interested in the focus of the two comments here on education.See what the The Manifesto says :

    "Gaps in knowledge lead to unhelpful and misleading
    debates — for example, the confusion over ‘common law’
    marriage, assisted suicide and the right to self-defence.
    We are committed to the provision of co-ordinated and
    properly funded legal education, including in schools,
    and see great opportunities for the increased use of
    digital media in the delivery of legal education"

    The Citizenship Foundation(www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk)(of which I'm a trustee) promotes education in schools about the law, democracy and human rights - all within the citizenship curriculum-through resources(eg Young Citizens Passport) and activities (Lawyers in Schools;mock trials) and more.But half our schools dont take the subject seriously(OFSTED).If this is news to readers (what are readers of blogs called- bloggees?) please check it out.

    Also see the efforts of PLEnet - the public legal education network - on www.plenet.org.uk.Small but enthuisastic beginnings to promote the virtuous circle of increasing knowledge and skills.

    Only Anon whilst I work out how not to be!

  4. I'm the previous Anon.Gather I dont have to post a URL as I dont have one.If this works I'll post again I'm sure!

  5. Thanks to macdan/anonymous. I have included Citizenship Foundation and Public Legal Education Network in the list of links.