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The future of justice is here as Online Court goes live for money claims

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In what is a sign of things to come for many elements of the civil justice system in the UK, earlier this month the first stage of the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) Online Court went live in beta / live test form. The new online system, which over time is set to replace the current, ageing Money Claims Online (MCOL) system, will allow members of the public to issue county court money claims up to £10,000 in value. MCOL will remain live during the beta test period. A spokesperson for the MOJ said that the new technology and scheme “begins to deliver the vision set out by Lord Briggs… where he called for claims worth up to £25,000 to be solved in an online court”.

Although the new system is far more advanced compared with MCOL, and its implementation is just the start of a technology revolution for the UK courts, there has been criticism that in reality, it doesn’t allow users to progress any further with their case than they can under with MCOL. The Bar Council - the professional association that represents barristers in England and Wales - emphasised that as with any such implementation of new technology, it:

must not be at the expense of justice itself, or of the involvement of real judges and human interaction in the determination of those disputes in which this is necessary…nor should it be assumed that online processes are open to all, or can lead to an effective outcome in all cases..”

According to MOJ data based on an earlier trial of the new system by over 1,400 users since last summer, feedback shows that 80% of users rated the new system as easy to use, with 40% of users filing a defence, compared with 22% via the MCOL platform. However, only 27% of cases referred to mediation (increased mediation and less litigation being one of the Online Court’s key objectives) actually reached the stage of a mediation appointment.

Chair of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee’s Online Court subcommittee, Mr Justice Birss, commented:

This is an important step in the modernisation of our courts and tribunals system...for too long the perceived delays and complexity of the system have put off too many people from using the civil courts to make a small claim”


If you or your business need advice about a money claim or financial compensation, Advantage Litigation may be able to help. Call 0800 160 1298 or click here to contact us today

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