On the brink of the post-Gutenberg democratisation of law and the courts — fresh proof that justice without lawyers really is on the horizon
Some readers might have thought we were exaggerating last week, in our subhead titled ‘Lawyer-free litigation’. No chance of that in Britain, we are pleased to see. Here is a headline we have just found for a report earlier in the week in the UK’s Law Society Gazette (LSG), the legal journal with the largest circulation in Europe: ‘Briggs review: online court needed to cut out lawyers’. The reviewer-in-chief is a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
We will be back to say more on this subject when we have had a chance to read the report and can steal some time from other tasks.
At least two other pieces on the LSG’s home page show that a healthy digital shakeup of law and the courts is long overdue:
Judges’ morale, the soaring number of litigants in person and the poor state of courtroom IT are among challenges cited by the Lord Chief Justice in his annual report to parliament published today.
… ‘In addition, there has, overall, been a widespread feeling of not being valued or appreciated for their work.’ [… ] Blaming the rise in number of litigants in person on justice becoming ‘unaffordable to most’, Thomas says that the judiciary is continuing to innovate by improving procedures.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to examine ‘long-standing concerns about the affordability of legal services and standards of service’, it announced today.
A market study restricted to England and Wales will examine:
Whether clients can drive effective competition by making informed purchasing decisions;
Whether clients are adequately protected from potential harm or can obtain satisfactory redress if legal services go wrong; …