Civil justice system is designed to settle disputes between individuals or organisations which usually arise when a person or an organisations believes that their rights have been infringed by another. One party, the claimant, sues the other, known as the defendant in a civil court. Some of the main areas of civil law are the law of contract, tort, employment law, company law and family law. Below will be discussed the ways for a person to use in civil courts when have a problem with a contract and effectiveness of the civil courts.
County court is served by circuit judges and district judges. County court will hear small claims and fast track cases, Multi track cases will be heard in High Court. County court has unlimited jurisdiction in contract and tort cases. The track allocation for high court is personal injury claims value more than $50 000. Other claims value more than $100,000. There are specialist High Court claims. County court deals with matter relating to contract, tort and recovery of land. County courts looks at bankruptcy and will and trust matters where the value of property or fund does not exceed $30 000. County Court does not have jurisdiction to hear libel or slander cases. There are three type of tracks which is small claims, fast track and multi-track.
Small claims tracks are claims not more than $10 000, simple and formal hearing and cases heard by district judges. Fast tracks value is not more than $25 000. Courts gives direction for case management, disclosure and sets trials dates. Multi tracks claims are more than $25 000 and do not provide standard procedure.
High court has family division, chancery division and Queen’s bench. Queen’s bench division includes commercial courts, technology and construction courts, circuit commercial court, admiralty court, administrative courts and planning court. Queen’s bench divisional court hears appeal on point of law from magistrate court and tribunals and application for habeas corpus. Chancery division is the chancellor of the high court. Jurisdiction includes bankruptcy, company, partnership. Courts includes patent courts, companies courts and bankruptcy courts. Chancery divisional court hears appeals from inland revenue on income tax and from county courts on matters like bankruptcy. Family court president of the Family Division. Jurisdiction involves marriage, divorce, adoption and domestic violence remedies.
Court of appeal is established by Judicature Act 1873. Civil division is presided over by the Master of the Rolls. Hears appeal from three division of county court, the employment appeal tribunal. Usually 3 judges will hear an appeal and sometimes it will be 5 times. The supreme courts are presided over by 12 independently appointed judges know as justice of the Supreme court.
The effectiveness of the civil courts is the judge is involved in active case management. Judges became case managers where a timetable is set by the courts and judges have to manage the case. Claims forms were simplified. Part 7 claim form used to start an action. The procedures been simplified procedures. The complexities in court procedures have been reduced to make the civil courts more “user friendly”.
As a conclusion, the effectiveness of the civil courts been greater and better after the Woolf Reform. Before 1999, there been some problems such as the litigation was too slow and there was a serious backlog of cases and the courts was being outdated. All this problem was solved after Woolf Reform. Woolf reform made the litigation less adversarial, less complex and more user friendly and there were fewer delays.