Times are changing for us. Two issues that highlight that are information technology and insurance.
Many courts have previously promulgated guidance on lodging/serving electronic documents. However, the Civil Justice Council’s Advisory Group on Online Dispute Resolution has concluded its report and now recommended that we go one stage further and have full-blown online courts. Initially it is considered that these will be suitable for those cases worth less than £25,000 but if successful surely that limit will be raised (or abolished). New ABS models could be well suited to this and ‘traditional’ lawyers certainly need to ensure that they move with the times or become anachronistic.
Another area which has just been reformed is insurance. Many would say this is long overdue. The Insurance Act 2015 will soon provide that someone seeking insurance needs to make a fair presentation of the risks and is under a duty as such. However, in cases where this duty has not been satisfied, there is now a more proportionate response system. The option to avoid remains in more severe and deliberate cases of breach but otherwise the policy may, for example, continue on different terms. Similarly there is to be a fairer structure when it comes to breach of warranties.
The changes to insurance (obviously not confined to the brief highlights above!) seem well thought through. Whether online courts are a solution to access to justice difficulties and costs, or lead to further problems, is something for the future.