In a press summary published at www.judiciary.gov.uk the following statement was made.
There is a clear and pressing need to create an Online Court for claims up to £25,000 designed for the first time to give litigants effective access to justice without having to incur the disproportionate cost of using lawyers. There will be three stages: Stage 1- a largely automated, inter-active online process for the identification of the issues and the provision of documentary evidence; Stage 2 – conciliation and case management, by case officers; Stage 3 resolution by judges. The court will use documents on screen, telephone, video or face to face meetings to meet the needs of each case.
Should the Online Court be separate court with its own bespoke rules, or a branch of the County Court, mainly governed by the Civil Procedure Rules? The report favours the first option.
Which types of claim which should be included, or excluded, if £25,000 is the ceiling?
How much and what types of assistance with IT will needed for court users?
How much if at all should one side’s costs be paid by the other side?
Should any appeal be to a Circuit Judge?