Monday, May 11, 2009

"Victorian" Scots Courts

In a speech at the 60th Anniversary conference of the Law Society of Scotland in Edinburgh Lord Gill told lawyers "The civil justice system in Scotland is a Victorian model that has survived by means of periodic piecemeal reforms. But in substance, its structure and procedures are those of a century and a half ago. It is failing the litigant and, therefore, failing society" The Scotsman reports.

At the request of Scottish ministers Lord Gill is undertaking a review of the entire civil justice system and will report at the end of June. There is more about the review here.

"The judicial structure should be based on a proper hierarchy of courts and the procedures should be appropriate to the nature and the importance of the case, in terms of time and cost. Scottish justice fails on all these counts" Lord Gill said and continued;

"Its delays are notorious. Its costs deter litigants whose claims may be well founded. Its procedures cause frustration and obstruct, rather than facilitate the achievement of justice."

Personal costs, not just financial ones, of undertaking an action in the civil courts deter litigants particularly in areas of law such as family matters – especially those that involve children. I don't think many would disagree with this.

Full article Source The Scotsman 9 May 2006


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