The civil justice as a major part of the English legal system is designed to clarify arguments among the citizens of the society. This system has been updated in recent years as a consequence of specific suggestions made by the civil justice review and executed in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. The main purpose of this assignment will be to saw whether these resent reforms helped to confront its long delay, complexity and cost or not.
To begin with it should be said that in civil legal system, legal aid covers all the work involved in bringing or defending a case, including the representation by the barrister or the solicitor in court. According to the Legal Aid Act 1988, legal aid is given to claims under i?? 3000, where the merits and means test is satisfied. The individual is eligible to receive legal aid if his disposable income is less than i?? 7975 per year. According to the same act, law centres and citizens advice bureau are two of the most important alternatives.
The first one offers free legal help to the individuals whereas the second provides people with free advise on common problems such as social security and dept problems. In 1994 the accident line was given out by the law society. This accident line gave accident victims the opportunity to consult a solicitor specialised in personal injury. However the civil legal system as it was, was considered ineffective in many ways. Thus it needed to be reformed. Towards this direction Lord chancellor Irvine made many radical proposals for the legal aid system.
The most important is the 'no win – no fee' proposal, which suggested that legal aid should be abolished from most cases( involving personal injury, insolvency, application to the European court of human rights and others who claims for money ). The proposals of Lord Irvine gave variety of access to justice ,as in the past people could not afford to bring cases in the court at their own expenses. According to these proposals conditional fee agreements can be made and most of the individuals can bring or defend their cases. Lord Irvine had been anxious with the delay and the cost of the cases.
His concerns will be dealt by lords Wolfs reforms of the civil justice system, whose main aims are to reduce the cost and the delay of the cases. Lord Wolf when designing this system had in mind three specific aims: firstly to ameliorate the existing system ,secondly to form an inquisitorial system model and thirdly to alliterate the fundamental law to abrogate the necessity for personal injury claims. Following this concept Lord Wolf published in 1996 his final report "Access to justice". The civil procedure act 1997 has been passed to enforce his report.
The date for the full enforcement of his report was at first set at 1st October 1998. At the time the labour government proposed their own review of the civil justice system and Lord Wolf was asked to express his thoughts. The final review of the civil justice system in 1998 that was formed of this collaboration , was in favour of implementation of Lord Wolf's proposals. The main point of this review was to reduce the cost, the time of the secondary work of the civil proceeding system and to make justice easier for everyone to approached.