Civil Justice Systems and Access to Justice

The research involves analysis of all the various procedural, funding and other mechanisms within civil justice systems, including alternative dispute resolution systems.

Europeanisation of Civil Procedures

Professor Hodges convenes a Steering Committee of scholars of civil procedure that is working towards announcing a large pan-EU project on EU Civil Justice Systems.

In December 2008 we held a Conference, partly devoted to group litigation, and partly to wider issues of civil justice and civil procedure - especially the developments at the European Union level. We are now in the stages of setting the scope of the new research project concerning Europeanization of civil justice and civil procedures.

The Use of Arbitration in England

based on previously unpublished data from leading arbitration bodies and interviews with leading judges, arbitrators and lawyers, found that the use of domestic arbitration in England has experienced a general fall since 2008, but has generally continued to hold its place as a means of dispute resolution for certain types of disputes, particularly in the construction sector, where the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is clearly the leading body involved in arbitration. The introduction of statutory adjudication has also had a notable impact in the construction sector, based on its advantages of swift and cost-proportionate dispute resolution during the construction process. The figures from the Ch.I.Arb., R.I.B.A., R.I.C.S. and I.C.E. identified 4,069 arbitration referrals in 2012, and Dr Reynolds surmises that there may be perhaps 12,000 arbitrations in total annually. This compares with 1,432,299 proceedings started in civil courts in 2012. There appears to be considerable potential for arbitration to be utilised further. However, based on concerns identified in the in-depth interviews, Dr Reynolds suggests that two issues deserve attention: first, the level of costs and delay in arbitration and, second, some confusion as a result of the number of bodies in the arbitration landscape, may together be acting as disincentives for users to select arbitration.

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