NI Blog: Radical reforms proposed for NI courts
Desmond Carr, director in the commercial litigation department at Tughans, explains the proposed reforms to Northern Ireland’s civil courts.
The much anticipated Preliminary Review on Civil Justice Report was published earlier this month. Chaired by Lord Justice Gillen, the Civil and Family Justice Review Group who prepared the report was tasked to “look fundamentally at current procedures for the administration of civil and family justice”. The extensive 380 page report makes a total of 221 recommendations. The issues tackled are wide-ranging and diverse, from fundamental concepts like improving access to justice for everyone, to the pros and cons of a tweet.
At the centre the committee’s work however was the intention to make the court experience more user-friendly and client-focused, and to modernise procedures and harness the latest technology to fastrack the business of litigation in Northern Ireland into the digital age.
On our analysis, some of the most interesting and perhaps controversial proposed changes are:
The report could prove to be the foundations of a seismic procedural and practical shift in the Northern Ireland judicial system. We will be examining the content and all the recommendations in more detail over the coming weeks.
The review group has called for responses to the report by Friday 9 December 2016.