Whilst on the face of it, it is encouraging that the MoJ are now getting involved, however we do have to look at what the MoJ have recently achieved. We've seen the increase in court fees and the closure of 86 courts around the country.
The government are suggesting that if the small claims limit is raised, then individuals should be able to deal with their claims without the benefit of a lawyer. However, whilst the claimant will be financially restricted and will have to represent himself, the defendant will no doubt have the benefit of an insurance company who will meet the cost of a lawyer to provide representation .
This will obviously give the defendant an unfair advantage.
We also have to consider the additional pressures on our already overstretched District Judges, who will not only have to manage the court timetable to ensure that the cases do not overrun, but will have to give guidance to the litigant in person who will only have the basic knowledge of the court procedure.
Therefore, whilst the MoJ are going to review matters, will it really make a difference to the governments agenda?
Chancellor George Osborne proposed in November that the limit should rise for personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 – effectively removing lawyers from the process altogether.