Online Court should handle basic civil cases
A new study written by Lord Justice Briggs, a Court of Appeal judge, has recommended that a new “online court” should be created to decide on civil hearings with a value of up to £25,000. Hundreds of cases a year could be moved out of courtrooms freeing them up from their Dickensian “stranglehold of paper”, said Lord Briggs, adding: “I consider that there is a clear and pressing need to use the opportunity presented by the digitising of the civil courts to create for the first time a court – the Online Court – for litigants to be enabled to have effective access to justice without lawyers”. Under the proposals, administrative “case officers” would make decisions on the bulk of applications, with only the serious going before a judge. Family law cases such as divorce and child custody are excluded from the proposed reforms.