The Civil Court Users Association (CCUA) states it has mixed views over the government response to the consultation on reforming civil justice in England & Wales.
“We are very pleased to see proposals to provide claimants with more effective enforcement in the obtaining of charging orders and the strengthening of the attachment of earnings process which should assist “ said chairman, Brian Havercroft
“We are concerned over the increase in the small claims and the government’s commitment to mediation. We have pointed out that our members do not generally sue cases where defences are raised and this is confirmed by figures from the Bulk Centre in Northampton that less than 5% of cases issued there are defended”
“With regard to small claims; cases should be considered on complexity rather than value and in the Associations’ response they highlighted the fact that the current limit is already much higher than in other jurisdictions. To many claimants £5,000 is a large amount and they should be able to have legal support without worrying that costs will not be awarded.”
Further concern has been expressed over greater involvement of litigants in person. “Generally litigants in person do not have sufficient knowledge to deal with cases and delays can occur to the detriment of the represented party. To increase the number will only delay matters to the detriment of users in general.”
The Association feels that there is a need to ensure that once a judgment has been obtained that satisfactory enforcement procedures are available and awaits the further paper on bailiff law that is due shortly.