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The Jackson Reforms: how will the changes affect family cases?

  • April 03, 2013
  • By Hunters Law

The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2013 (SI 2013/262), as recommended by Lord Justice Jackson (known as the ‘Jackson Reforms’) came into force on 1st April 2013 and bring about important changes to civil litigation in England and Wales.

These amendments impact upon areas of family law that are governed by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, rather than the Family Procedure Rules 2010. These areas include:

• Claims brought under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996;
• Claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975;
• Claims brought under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997;
• Enforcement proceedings; and
• Rules on costs.

The key objective of the Jackson Reforms is stated to be to increase access to courts and reduce the cost of litigation. The main changes that will affect family cases commenced on or after 1st April 2013 include: an amendment to the overriding objective to take into account the proportionality of costs; stricter cost management procedures; an allowance for a tailored list of disclosure requirements; a limit on the material contained in factual evidence; and an increase in costs for defendants who do not accept a reasonable offer which is not bettered at trial.

A link to the Ministry of Justice website where the amendments can be read in full ishere. For more information on the Jackson Reforms and how they may impact upon family cases please contact a member of our Family or Dispute Resolution teams.

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