The civil litigation system is at risk of being ‘buried under a mass of paperwork’ because of the way lawyers are compiling their arguments, lord chief justice Lord Judge has warned.

Delivering the Judicial Studies Board lecture last week, Judge said modern technology meant lawyers were including far too many cases of ‘spurious’ importance in their arguments.

He said: ‘Too many decisions from Strasbourg, and too many domestic decisions, are cited in argument… All the cases on the point are assembled, and put into the skeleton argument. That skeleton argument is saved. When another case emerges, from whatever source, and unreported cases… [it achieves] spurious importance by being linked with an earlier reported case. The process is just too simple.’

Judge said that when one case was added another should be taken out. He added that court bundles would be ‘radically cut’ if the only documents submitted to court were those that had been ‘copied by hand’.

Judge continued: ‘If we do not get a grip we shall bury our system under a mass of paperwork’.