THE IMPACT OF PROCEDURE UPON SUBSTANTIVE LAW: KNAUER -v- MOJ

I have written elsewhere about the  impact of the Supreme Court decision in Knauer v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 9.  It is interesting to look at one short part of the judgment to reflect how changes to procedure can have some impact on the substantive law.

“The reality is that this is another respect in which the litigation landscape has been transformed since 1984. Under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, the court is now in a position to set timetables and insist that parties keep to them.”

THE JUDGMENT

“18.              If his first concern can thus be dealt with, his second concern, any incentive for claimants to delay the trial, is a little harder to understand. If it were valid, it would apply equally to non-fatal personal injury claims. Further, if the present approach leads to under-compensation, it could be said that it creates an incentive for defendants to delay the trial. The reality is that this is another respect in which the litigation landscape has been transformed since 1984. Under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, the court is now in a position to set timetables and insist that parties keep to them. In any event, the proper use of the Ogden Tables makes the concern irrelevant. The dependants will get that which reflects their probable loss on an actuarial calculation based on the facts known at the date of trial. There is no injustice either way.”

SO THE FACT THAT THE COURT CAN CONTROL THE TIMETABLE PLAYED A PART IN THE SUBSTANTIVE DECISION

True this was not not a major part.  However the ability of the courts to case manage makes it more difficult for claimants and defendants to delay.

 

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