The senior judiciary has given its expected endorsement to Lord Justice Briggs' proposals for radical reforms in the civil courts. In a joint statement today the lord chief justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and the master of the rolls Sir Terence Etherton, gave across-the-board backing to all of Briggs' recommendations, including the online court and an out-of-hours private mediation service.
Today's joint statement said: 'The review covers important ground, and while the online court caught the headlines, there are 62 recommendations in the report which merit equal attention. The judiciary will continue to work with the government and HMCTS to develop further the conclusions Lord Justice Briggs reached, and bring them to fruition alongside wider court modernisation.’
It added: 'The justice system is undergoing a long-overdue improvement programme. Lord Justice Briggs’ major review will ensure that the overall system for civil justice is improved for its users in a coherent as well as comprehensive manner. A team of civil judges has been established to lead on this work within the judiciary.'
Briggs' report, published in July last year, proposed creating a new online court destined to become the compulsory forum for resolving cases such as straightforward money claims valued at up to £25,000. Other proposals included the creation of a cadre of case officers to handle paperwork and uncontentious matters instead of judges and a single court to enforce judgments and orders.