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MoJ sets out rules for post-Jackson civil justice system
The Ministry of Justice today sets out in detail how the Jackson reforms will work when the majority come into force on 1 April.
In a statutory instrument laid down in parliament, the department sets out the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules that will set out the future direction of civil justice.
There are sections for costs management, costs capping, qualified one-way costs-shifting and damages-based agreements.
There are few surprises in the amended rules, and as expected changes to conditional fee agreements do not apply to insolvency-related proceedings, publication and privacy proceedings or a mesothelioma claim.
All parties excepts litigants in person must file and exchange budgets by a specific date and courts can control parties’ budgets if a costs management order has been made.
Craig Budsworth, chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society, said it was noteworthy that the 10% rise in damages – promised as part of the Jackson changes – was not part of the rules. This would mean the judicial guidelines would have to be amended to ensure protection for accident victims.
‘We must be cautious now moving forward and not rush into more reform before these changes have had a chance to bed in.
‘It is important to ensure that the whole package of Jackson reforms is implemented and there is that vital balance between the claimant and defendant in the system.’
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