Appearing before the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee this week, the Rt Hon Lord Gill, Lord President of the Court of Session, criticised the current civil justice system for wasting public money, stating:
“Public money is being inefficiently spent in the present system” and “[in] many cases, the legal costs have already outstripped the value of the case before the lunch adjournment, and that just can’t go on”.
Defending the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill, which Lord Gill suggests is “probably 50 years overdue”, he continued:
“The whole thinking behind this bill is how it affects the public purse. I would hope that the committee would support this bill and the outcome will be a huge saving in public costs”.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) remain seriously concerned by the ‘sweeping changes to the civil court system’ which include the majority of injury claims being transferred from the Court of Session to the Sheriff Court.
APIL’s Scottish Co-ordinator, Ronnie Conway stated:
“[I]f the Government plans to move more than 2,000 cases from the Court of Session to the Sheriff Court go ahead, the shortfall is going to be around £1 million a year. And if vulnerable injured people and other court users are going to have to stump up the money to cover that cost, we need to be told”.
Mr Conway clarified that while APIL supported “much in the reform package” he continued “…plans to introduce such far-reaching change without clarity about the costs involved and resources needed to make the whole work is completely unacceptable”.