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Chapter

This final chapter reflects further on the theme, pervasive throughout the book of the transformation of the legal system over the last 20 years. It reflects on the pressures that have underpinned the transformation agenda. It examines the political, financial, and competitive pressures that have led to the need for reform. It contemplates the further changes that are now in progress. The chapter highlights the challenges that the transformation programme must face, stressing in particular the need to ensure much improved access to justice. It considers briefly the importance of public legal education in helping people understand their legal rights and obligations and the need for a properly funded programme of public legal education.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutionality of fees payable to access court processes where the applicant's limited financial means render them unable to pay those fees. More generally it concerns the capacity of the common law to provide rights protections, notwithstanding the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Supreme Court. This case considers whether the fees applicants were required to pay to access the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal interfered with their ability to access justice. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutionality of fees payable to access court processes where the applicant’s limited financial means render them unable to pay those fees. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter considers the ability of individuals to seek redress to resolve environmental disputes and the role played by the courts. First, the chapter considers the reasons why some disputes end up in the courts before focusing on the main institution of judicial redress in the form of judicial review. Focus includes discussion of likelihood of success before the courts and the usefulness of judicial review in environmental cases. Specifically, the chapter focuses on the problem encountered by litigants in respect to the exorbitant costs associated with judicial review and the attempt by the Government to address this. The chapter also briefly considers the provisions for access to justice in private law as well as before the Court of Justice for the EU before considering alternative mechanisms for compliance, including the debates surrounding the need for a special environmental court.

Chapter

Jeffrey Jowell

Dicey believed that discretionary power offended the Rule of Law as it would inevitably lead to arbitrary decisions. His critics pointed out that in the modern state discretion is necessary to carry out a variety of welfare and regulatory tasks. The Rule of Law contains four central features which cohere and overlap: legality, certainty, equality and access to justice and rights. These are not only formal values but also substantive. The Rule of Law is a principle of institutional morality inherent in any constitutional democracy. In a country without a written constitution it constrains the way power is exercised. It is enforced and elaborated through judicial review but also serves as a critical focus for public debate. Although the Rule of Law is not the only requirement of a constitutional democracy, it is of great practical significance in promoting fair decisions, restraining the abuse of power, encouraging investment, and in furthering empowerment and respect for equal human dignity.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutionality of fees payable to access court processes where the applicant’s limited financial means render them unable to pay those fees. More generally it concerns the capacity of the common law to provide rights protections, notwithstanding the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

The final chapter of this book reflects further on how the legal system has changed and will continue to develop going forwards. The dramatic changes that have been made over the past 20+ years are grouped under two broad headings: modernization and austerity. Looking to the future, the immediate challenge is to finish the Transformation Programme and to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other issues include: dealing with the criminal justice system; increasing support for legal advice services; and improving public legal education. The chapter argues that lawyers should not fear change, but exploit the opportunities that arise.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on how legal services, in particular litigation, to the less well-off and the poor are paid for. It considers first the radically changed shape of legal aid and publicly funded legal services. It discusses developments designed to control the costs of litigation. It summarizes new ideas that have been developing for the funding of litigation and improving access to justice. Finally it asks whether other processes—alternatives to courts—might be better at providing cost effective and proportionate dispute resolution services.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on how legal services, in particular litigation, to the less well off and the poor are paid for. It considers first the radically changed shape of the legal aid scheme and publicly funded legal services in recent years and then discusses the developments designed to control the costs of litigation. It summarizes new ideas for the funding of litigation and improving access to justice. It considers the contribution of the legal profession and approaches to re-engineering the system, finally asking whether new processes—alternatives to the courts—might be better at providing cost effective and proportionate dispute resolution services.

Chapter

Andrew Le Sueur

Everybody agrees there is broad consensus that the constitutional principle of judicial independence is important. In relation to the core judicial functions of hearing cases and writing judgments, the central meaning and application of the principle is fairly straightforward: people holding public office (politicians, parliamentarians, and officials) must refrain from interfering with judicial decision-making in individual cases; and judges should be protected from illegitimate pressure from the news media and other organizations. But hearings and judgments do not ‘just happen’; they have to be facilitated by a wide array of institutions and processes (the justice infrastructure), covering matters as diverse as court buildings, litigation procedures, judicial careers, and legal aid. In the absence of a codified constitution, in the United Kingdom the justice infrastructure is set out in Acts of Parliament, delegated legislation and ‘soft law’ (including the 2003 ‘Concordat’). The day-to-day running of the justice infrastructure can be understood in terms of who carries out functions related to the administration of justice—the judges, government (in particular, the Lord Chancellor), functions shared between judges and government, and functions given to arm’s length bodies. Periodically, the justice infrastructure is reshaped. This is a constitutionally significant activity that may take place in different settings—the political environment, expert environments, and blended environments. The day-to-day running of this infrastructure, along with its periodic reshaping, presents numerous and complex challenges for a legal system intent on respecting judicial independence and facilitating access to justice.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Supreme Court. This case considers whether the fees applicants were required to pay to access the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal interfered with their ability to access justice. The UKSC articulated the right of access to justice as deriving from the common law. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

This chapter addresses the issues and arguments surrounding access to justice. The chapter considers the recent reforms and proposed changes to legal aid provision. There is an outline of the basic principles relating to public funding in both civil and criminal cases. Different methods of funding civil legal representation are discussed including CFAs and DBAs. Organisations involved in giving legal advice on a pro bono basis, including Citizens Advice Bureaux and law centres, are also included. in the discussion about the availability of legal advice. The chapter aims to stimulate thought about the idea of access to justice and whether such access is fair and open to all in England and Wales.

Chapter

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of the global distribution of medical resources; the allocation of national resources; and medical treatment of the individual. It argues that so long as decisions are made taking into account fundamental moral values and principles of equity, impartiality, and fairness, and provided the bases for decision making are flexible in relation to the times, then the underlying system is just and is likely to yield just results.

Chapter

This chapter addresses the issues and arguments surrounding access to justice. The chapter considers the recent changes and proposed changes to legal aid provision. There is an outline of the basic principles relating to public funding in both civil and criminal cases. Different methods of funding civil legal representation are discussed including CFAs and DBAs. Organisations involved in giving legal advice include Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and law centres are also included in the discussion about the availability of legal advice.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Supreme Court. This case considers whether the fees applicants were required to pay to access the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal interfered with their ability to access justice. The UKSC articulated the right of access to justice as deriving from the common law. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Book

Introduction to the English Legal System 2021–2022 has been fully updated to consider the latest developments in the English legal system. The underlying theme is change and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the underlying approach is holistic. Changes to the criminal system (Chapter 5), the administrative system (Chapter 6), the family justice system (Chapter 7), and the civil and commercial (Chapter 8) justice systems are all considered. Developments in the ways in which the legal profession is regulated are also discussed (Chapter 9). Ways of funding access to justice and controlling the cost of litigating are considered (Chapter 10), as are the purposes and sources of law (Chapters 2 and 3). Chapter 11 offers a final reflection on a system in flux.