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eBay-style court to come into force

18th February 2015

It has been announced that smaller claims could soon be solved in an online court similar to the online disputes system run by online consumer sales services company eBay. The news comes after a Civil Justice Council report found that settling non-criminal cases of less than £25,000 in this manner could reduce expenses generated by court action.

The report has been found welcome by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and while it could be a couple of years before we see a full roll-out of the proposed system, it could see a change to the roles and workload of people in small claims lawyer jobs across the country. The report suggests conducting a pilot ahead of a full roll-out, which is anticipated as early as 2017.

The report has been met with mixed opinions, with Professor Richard Susskind, the IT adviser to Lord Chief Justice, describing the eBay system, which settles 60 million disputes each year, as “remarkable”, as reported in this article. While many see enormous potential in the plans, there are concerns over losing the personal element of civil justice.

Image Credit: Kazuhisa OTSUBO (