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Access to Justice – online and simple better than none at all

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Access to Justice – online and simple better than none at all

At a recent and wide ranging speech in London, Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger was critical of a range of civil justice and litigation issues including ‘wrong turns’ taken in civil legal aid (or more importantly, lack of civil legal aid) and also the need for “quick and dirty” online dispute resolution (ODR) as at least a workable alternative to either “no justice or absurdly over-priced justice”.

Regarding ODR, Lord Neuberger stated that:

there are many cases where a bona fide dispute between parties about a sum of money which means quite a lot to both or one of them but in respect of which a trial conducted according to traditional principals would be wholly disproportionate.

He emphasised that it is vital that there are dispute resolution solutions that are both affordable and accessible, although such solutions may be imperfect.

On legal aid, in particular the Access To Justice Act 1999 (described as being ‘flag-wavingly named’), Lord Neuberger highlighted the lack of access to justice for many people as they have been unable to secure funding to seek such justice, with many having no alternative but to represent themselves in court as a litigant in person (a LIP).

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