UK: judge in class action takes tough approach to case management following Jackson reform

A number of recent cases suggest that some judges are now applying procedural rules more rigorously as a result of the implementation of the Jackson reforms. The case of Jones v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (2013) (a class action) is a useful illustration of the courts’ application of the refined overriding objective following these reforms to civil litigation.

On 1 April 2013, mainly as a result of Jackson LJ’s review of civil litigation costs, several changes to the civil litigation process came into effect. These included changes to the costs regime, funding, case management and disclosure, which were implemented by way of legislation as well as amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

On 9 July 2013, in the case of Jones v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (2013), the High Court had to consider whether to grant the defendant an ‘unless order’ (these may be used in cases where there is no alternative method of securing a party’s compliance with an order) in view of the changes made to the overriding objective as part of the Jackson reforms…

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