Volume 4 (1996) / Issue 4
Access to justice can be severely impeded by the costs of litigation. English civil litigation has developed four particular procedures which stand out as differing radically in principle and in cost from continental systems: pre-trial disclosure of documents ('discovery'), the use of oral evidence, the use of expert evidence and a plaintiff's potential liability for a successful opponent's costs. In 1994 Lord Woolf was appointed to review the rules and procedures of the civil courts in England and Wales with a view to improving access to justice and reducing the costs of litigation. His report contains proposals which, if implemented, will lead to greater court control of proceedings and thus of their related costs.
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