The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has published a report which considers what role Pre-Action Protocols (PAPs) should play in an increasingly digitalised civil justice system. The report canvasses a number of reform options:
- Making all PAPs available online via portals.
- Formally recognising that compliance with PAPs would be mandatory, except in urgent cases where immediate court intervention is necessary.
- Introducing a good faith obligation to try to resolve or narrow the dispute at the pre-action stage.
- Introducing a requirement to complete a joint stocktake report/list of issues as a final step before the start of proceedings.
- Introducing a summary costs procedure for costs liability and quantum disputes for cases that are resolved at a PAP stage.
- Expanded powers for the courts and new processes for raising compliance issues to facilitate a more robust, consistent and timely approach to non-compliance with PAPs.
- Guidance to the courts to consider ways of streamlining directions and the litigation process to reflect the progress already made by parties who have complied with the relevant PAP.
- Making PAPs more user friendly through greater use of non-technical language and by providing information about the pre-action and litigation process to litigants in person (LIPs).
- Creating a new general PAP with more concrete time frames and disclosure standards for pre-action letters of claim and replies.
Dr Anton van Dellen is the Bar Council Observer on the CJC.
In this news post – Dr Anton van Dellen
Dr Anton van Dellen has experience in a wide range of defamation proceedings, ranging from pre-action advice to fully contested High Court claims and appeals up to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He also has sound experience in bringing Judicial Reviews and appeals against a wide range of public authorities, challenging decisions for being unlawful, irrational and/or failing to follow published guidance. High Net Worth clients are represented by Dr Anton van Dellen in a range of litigation involving disputes over assets.