Earlier in 2015 in London the Court of Appeal Judge, Lord Jackson, presented himself to a group at the Middle Temple Inn of Court in London to elaborate on the reforms in his namesake report. The Jackson Reforms, initiated two years back, aimed to re-imagine the civil justice system in the UK through over 100 recommendations, most of which have been implemented by this point. But what reforms did the UK justice system need?

The UK legal system, particularly compared to that of other European countries, is rife with high hourly fees, salaries and premiums at the cost of a fair legal system, especially for those who cannot fiscally afford to navigate its narrow channels, a situation which was a source of much dissatisfaction in the business community.

Furthermore, as the Jackson reforms demonstrate, the cost of justice has been put at the centre of the legal system debate whereas a discussion more focused on producing effective outcomes might better serve its corporate users.

When Lord Jackson gave his talk at the Middle Temple about the reforms, the focus was laid on two main points – the importance of cost management and budgeting before litigation begins, and the need for the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods in the traditional justice system. These two principles, while perhaps sounding rather broad given the point of the Jackson Reforms, actually lay out the foundation for reforming the system to allow equal access to justice across society.

Jan-Mar 2016 issue