I am compelled to write in respect of the state of the courts.

Society is founded upon the rule of law. If there is no mechanism by which the law is upheld there is nothing more than anarchy. Or at least that is the theory behind much of what I was taught at law college.

However the current court system seems incapable of providing a service that can uphold the rule of law.

By way of example, we had a matter cancelled the day before trial that had been listed along with 18(!) other trials. I understand the reason for block-listing, but to have 18 trials on a day and not to have been able to tell a week in advance that they would not all be heard seems like poor planning. There is also the question of who pays the fees for two sets of counsel in that situation.

This is bad enough, but the matter in question had already had a contested application to adjourn dismissed on the basis the defendant would suffer a prejudice. The court was happy to accept the fees.

This seems to be becoming a problem worthy of investigation, not least because of all of the wasted counsel fees. There is also the matter of claimant firms having to fund their own disbursements, which could be a real problem for cashflow.

John Boylan, solicitor, Hebble Law, Halifax