Lord Justice Jackson has issued a plea for the government to stop relying on litigants to meet the costs of the justice system.
In his new book, launched last night, Jackson says it was inappropriate for judges to campaign on the issue – but stresses there is an ‘important point of principle’ at stake.
Jackson’s review of civil justice was largely enacted through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in 2013. Since then, however, the government has introduced a series of fee increases which campaigners fear is pricing people out of the courts.
In the book, The Reform of Civil Litigation (Thomson Reuters, £79) Jackson says the civil courts play a vital role in maintaining social order and in the proper functioning of the economy. But he adds that it would be wrong ‘for the entire cost or most of the cost of the civil justice system’ to be shifted from taxpayers to litigants.
The book addresses many of the controversies that have arisen from his eponymous report, which recommended the abolition of recoverability of success fees and ATE insurance, as well as greater use of fixed recoverable costs for civil cases.
Jackson added: ‘As a serving judge I have written the book in order to promote a proper understanding of the reforms and better litigation practice.
‘I also hope the book can help encourage the proper implementation of those recommendations for reform which are as yet unimplemented or only partly implemented.’
Lord Justice Jackson will be speaking at the Law Society’s Commercial litigation conference on 10 October 2016. Find out more and register for the event.