And so back to business.
You may have spotted that the Ministry of Justice has announced that they are to form a working party to help to develop the court rules and regulations to enable the Jackson reforms to be implemented. Basically, they are going to 'invite' relevant interested parties to help put some meat on the bones. And about time too.
Their remit will be to look at (and I quote):
- Qualified one way costs shifting – atypical cases and behavioural aspects
- Introduction of an additional sanction/reward under Part 36
- The detail of the proportionality test – content of a Practice Direction - examples of when the test should not be applied.
No mean feat. I have already pointed out the great flaws in the Jackson reforms so we shall see how they cope with getting around the problems. Key here of course is (a) who is going to be invited to join the group and (b) how exactly will the group operate.
Let's look at (a).
Well, you would hope that interested parties would include the Law Society, APIL, MASS, the ABI and Trade Unions at the very least. I think however there will be another agenda going on with a little bias in the sides. I doubt very much they will be even with most money going on more representatives from the defendant brigade. Also depends on (b) of course...
(b) How exactly is the group going to operate.
I doubt MoJ is going to allow it to be a democracy with each interested party getting an equal a vote on proposals. I suspect the MoJ will simply listen and then ignore anything it doesn't like when it comes to the drafting. If I am right with this then expect some fireworks and a few walk outs. I can't see this process going smoothly and with this will be a danger that we will end up with unworkable rules.
Satellite litigation here we come me thinks.
Or maybe I am just a born sceptic.
Anyway, the MoJ have said that they will be picking the attendees from those who submitted responses to the Jackson reforms (remember them - the ones they didn't read). Now we put a reply in drafted by our very own legal expert, Simon Pinner. So, who knows, it could be us shaping the future of civil litigation. Could also equally be Claims R Us Ltd.
Timetable is tight. The working party is to report by the end of September 2011 with a 'workshop' to be convened towards the end of October 2011 to be attended by experienced practitioners (both claimant and defendant) in all civil litigation practice areas.
Now we work fast here but this is a joke. There is no way a properly formed working party is going to be able come up with properly drafted rules in 7 weeks, not forgetting or course that most people are away during August.
More slight of hand going on here?
I am sitting by the telephone waiting for that call.
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