Civil Law


Notes on Civil Law for OCR Unit 2 . I think I have included all the important stuff, if I haven't let me know. Colourful and with pictures :)

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  • Created by: Lydia
  • Created on: 22-05-12 20:03
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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 must start
in the County Court
Defamation actions must be started in the High
Main points to consider when deciding are the amount
being claimed and if the case will raise a complex
issue of the law.
Allocation of Cases
Once the claim is defended, the court will allocate the case
to one of the three tracks:
Small Claims track ­ under £5,000 except from
personal injury or housing, which is £1,000. Uses
County Court.
Fast Track ­ straightforward disputed, £5,000 to
£25,000. Uses County Court.
Multitrack ­ over £25,000 or complex cases under
said amount. £25,000 to £50,000 = High or County.
Over £50,000 = usually the High Court.
Before Woolf cases in County court took 85 weeks
until the hearing. It was also too expensive.
Once a case is defended the District Judge sends
out allocation questionnaire and makes the decision
as to whether the case is right for fast track.

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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.
Multitrack cases
Usually sent to High Court for claims of over £50,000.
Heard by Circuit Judge who manages the case. Can
set timetables.
Can ask parties to try ADR to prevent waste of costs.…read more

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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.…read more

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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 the Court of Appeal. Will only
happen if there is an important point of
principle/practice or there is some compelling reason
(Access to Justice Act 1999).…read more

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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 that
both parties use arbitration if a dispute arises.
ACAS (Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service)
uses this method to resolve employment disputes.
Decisions are binding ­ can be used by the courts.…read more

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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 ADR
Disadvantages of ADR
Unequal bargaining power ­ in disputes such as
employment and divorce one party can sometimes
dominate the other, so the courts are a better option
for weaker parties.…read more

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I found this so much useful , thank you

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