Continuing with our occasional series of responses to the Jackson Costs Review from the “great and the good” in the legal and costs world is Dominic Regan. Dominic is a legal writer, broadcaster and speaker on civil litigation matters. He is professor at City University London and a member of the Civil Justice Costs Committee. He spends much of his time speaking on the vagaries of the Part 36 rules. He has written and spoken extensively on the Jackson Costs Review.
THE JUDICIARY AND REFORM
The Jackson Report was commissioned by the then Master of the Rolls and not by the Government. Whilst it is now obvious that the new administration is looking to act upon Jackson what is more interesting is that the Judiciary has already started! Sir Rupert enjoys tremendous support from the senior bench.
Look at the recent suffocation of Carver v BAA Plc  EWCA Civ 412 in the L G Blower Ltd v Reeves  EWCA Civ 726 decision. The Court of Appeal at paragraph 40 of the transcript recite the criticisms of Carver made in the final Jackson report before proceeding to render it an impotent authority. Take the Fiddes v Channel Four Television Corporation  EWCA Civ 730 libel action against Channel 4 where a decision to deny the claimant the norm of a jury trial was upheld by the Appeal court. Why? It would prolong the hearing and make it more expensive. Can you not hear the resonance of Jackson in there? The Senior Master in Goodale v The Ministry of Justice  EWHC B41 (QB) ordered the Ministry of Justice to complete an electronic disclosure questionnaire even though formal powers to do so do not come into being until October.
My simple point is that the Judiciary is demonstrating an increasingly assertive approach. Case management powers are vast; expect to see muscles flexed with much more regularity and confidence.