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A new CJC working group, the Civil Litigation Review working group, has been set up to consider and review a series of discrete topics relating to civil litigation. The group is chaired by Rachael Mulheron of Queen Mary University of London and its work will ultimately feed into the Ministry of Justice’s Post‐Implementation Review of the Jackson reforms, which is due in early 2018.
The first topic being considered by the group is the procedure of concurrent expert evidence, also known as hot‐tubbing. This was introduced as part of the reforms as an optional procedure to be adopted at the direction of the judge. It involves hearing
evidence concurrently from the experts in a particular discipline, with the judge leading the questioning and discussion, rather than having each expert give evidence and be cross-examined separately. The working group has issued a survey to judges,
experts and legal representatives aimed at eliciting experience and views of the technique.
The survey for legal representatives can be accessed here. It is aimed principally at those with experience of "hot-tubbing" in court proceedings, either in
England and Wales or elsewhere, but those with experience of the process in an arbitration are also invited to respond. Those who do not have personal experience of the process but would like to express views are also invited to do so (at Question
10 of the survey). Responses are due by to 5 pm on Tuesday 7th June.
Other areas will be considered by the group on a rolling basis, with the other proposed initial topics being: the role which BTE (before-the-event) insurance might play in improving access to justice; and QOCS (qualified one-way costs shifting)
and private nuisance claims.
Maura McIntosh is a professional support consultant in the dispute resolution team at Herbert Smith Freehills and is deputy chair of the Civil Litigation Review working group.
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