News In Focus
Simple procedure special claims delayed by six months
Extension of the new simple procedure to special types of action is to be delayed by at least six months to autumn 2018, Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service announced today.
The procedure, designed to provide a speedy, inexpensive and informal way to resolve civil disputes where the cash value is less than £5,000, came into force for straightforward claims such as debt actions in November 2016. Further rules covering actions including personal injury, eviction and aliment are being developed and were scheduled for implementation in April 2018.
However the Making Justice Work programme board, which is co-ordinating the implementation of civil court reform, has agreed that the timeframe for the introduction of the special claims rules should be put back until next autumn at the earliest, "to enable a smooth transition and ensure the needs of court users are met".
The operation of the new core rules is currently being reviewed following feedback to identify areas where improvements can be made. "As the special claims rules are modelled on the core rules, it makes sense to listen to the feedback, evaluate the core rules and incorporate any improvements before introducing the special case rules", SCTS said in a statement.
It added that it recently held a series of workshops with representatives from the legal profession and consumer groups to help shape the development of a web-based portal, Civil Online. "With the commencement of the Simple Procedure (Special Claims) Rules in 2018, SCTS aims to have Civil Online in place to allow solicitors and members of the public to track case progress online, submit cases for registration, defend their cases, pay court fees and lodge documents into what will form the digital case file.
"While Civil Online will initially be for simple procedure cases, working with the Scottish Civil Justice Council we will make sure that future court rules for other case types will support the transaction of business through Civil Online."