Fourth Annual Lecture: on the cusp of a civil revolution

October 2016

Overlooked by the historic paintings of the Gray’s Inn Hall, including of those who have overseen far-reaching upheaval in their time, it seemed befitting we would discuss changes which, if fully implemented, will bring about greater change to civil litigation than ever before.

“Is there something wrong with my predicate, namely that a further, larger, revolution really is happening?” asked Lord Justice Briggs. If the changes proposed by the Civil Courts Structure Review Final Report are eventually approved for implementation, the answer would be a resounding ‘no’. The changes can be summarised under the following headings:  digitisation, online court, fixed recoverable costs, case officers, hearings, regional civil justice and enforcement. Lord Justice Briggs set out in great detail why he thinks now is the optimal time to incorporate these ambitious changes, and what they mean in practice. Throughout the lecture he also dealt with some of the sceptics’ objections.

Will the revolutionaries win, in whole or in part? Time will tell but one thing is clear, Lord Justice Briggs offered a platform from which it would be worthwhile to take that leap.

His full speech.