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Civil Justice Council initiates review of third-party civil litigation funding

Civil Justice Council initiates review of third-party civil litigation funding


The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has embarked on a significant review of third-party civil litigation funding, responding to a request from the Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk

This review, prompted by plans for new legislation aimed at facilitating access to justice, comes in the wake of the Horizon Scandal, where third-party funding played a crucial role in enabling legal action against the Post Office.

Published on April 23rd, the terms of reference for the review outline its objectives: to assess the current state of third-party funding arrangements, evaluate their effectiveness in ensuring access to justice, and propose recommendations for reform.

The backdrop of the Horizon Scandal underscores the urgency and importance of this review. With hundreds of former sub-postmasters relying on third-party funding to pursue claims against a corporate giant like the Post Office, the review's outcomes could have far-reaching implications for similar cases in the future.

The timeline for the review is ambitious yet thorough. The CJC aims to provide an interim report by summer 2024, followed by a comprehensive full report by summer 2025. This structured approach reflects the gravity of the issues at hand and underscores the commitment of the CJC to deliver meaningful insights and recommendations.

Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chairman of the Civil Justice Council and Master of the Rolls, expressed the Council's dedication to ensuring fair and proportionate access to justice for all. Recognising the significance of litigation funding in shaping access to justice, Sir Geoffrey emphasised the CJC's longstanding commitment to addressing these issues.

The review of third-party civil litigation funding represents a pivotal step towards enhancing the integrity and efficacy of the civil justice system. By examining current practices, identifying challenges, and proposing reforms, the CJC aims to uphold the principles of fairness and accessibility, safeguarding the rights of citizens to seek redress through legal avenues.