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Civil Law
Starting a case
System reformed in 1999 following Woolf report.
Which Court?
County Court £25,000 or less. For larger claims you
can choose where to start it. However, there are
restrictions laid down in the High Court and County
Jurisdiction Order 1991:
Personal injury cases less than £50,000…

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Very strict timetable to prevent delays and
unnecessary cost.
Aim is to have the case heard within 30 weeks,
however in 2008 it was 48 weeks.
Open court with a more formal procedure than small
Hearing is limited to a maximum of one day and one
expert witness.


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ADR encouraged
Earlier settlements
More cooperation, less adversarial

Heavily front loaded in terms of cost and work
New procedures like preaction protocols, allocation
questionnaires and case management conferences
are complex
Rules on time limits very strictly enforced.

Court Jurisdiction
County Court
Contract + Tort
Recovery of land
Disputes over…

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County Court ­ set out in Civil Procedure Rules
Small claims ­ appeal goes to the next judge in the
hierarchy e.g. District to Circuit.
Fast track ­ District to Circuit, Circuit to High Court
If Circuit or High hears first appeal, then second
appeals can happen to…

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Between the two parties, with or without a lawyer

Arbitration ­ Governed by Arbitration Act 1996
Dispute decided by independent arbitrator
Small Claims process is a form of arbitration in County
Many businesses have arbitration clause (known as
Scott v Avery clause) in contracts, which requires…

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Parties can control the way a dispute is resolved
rather than giving control to the courts
Avoidance of bad feelings between the parties
Business relationships can continue
Experts involved in arbitration
More likely to achieve a compromise, rather than only
one winner
More likely to settle for less using…

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I found this so much useful , thank you

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