Thought leadership

A new survey has found that over half of the British population don’t believe the current UK justice system is fair and that 80% feel it’s too expensive and doesn’t help people who can’t afford expensive legal fees.

The survey carried out by newly launched online dispute resolution service ClaimItOnline has found a shocking amount of Brits feel let down by the state of the current justice system. Nearly two-thirds (63%) think it doesn’t help the vulnerable, and 78% believe it takes too long to reach a conclusion on a case.

ClaimItOnline helps people use arbitration to get an enforceable judgment on their claim in weeks rather than months or years or, if they prefer, they can use mediation to work out a settlement with the other side or simply obtain some legal advice about their claim and what to do next.

The new online service launches following the CCSR interim report from Lord Justice Briggs in January which stated “There is a clear and pressing need to create an Online Court for claims up to £25,000 designed for the first time to give litigants effective access to justice without having to incur the disproportionate cost of using lawyers.” and the launch of the European-wide Online Dispute Resolution platform for online purchases in February this year.

The survey found that 70% of people weren’t aware of mediation prior to their case and 46% didn’t know about arbitration. However half of people (52%) said they would have used them instead of small claims court if they had known.

On the flaws in the current justice system, respondents said:

         84% – the time it takes for a claim to be settled

         81% – the cost of taking a claim to court

         79% – the complicated procedure of taking a claim to court

         76% – the stress of resolving disputes

76% of respondent then agreed that an increase in technology for courtrooms including moving the claim to an online method, would help with the above answers.

Over 70% of people that have taken a case to small claims court found the experience stressful and a quarter said that following their experience they lost confidence in our justice system with 30% saying they wouldn’t recommend a friend of family member to pursue a case based on their experience.

James Martin, Founder and Director at ClaimItOnline said: “The civil justice system is failing most people. It’s excruciatingly slow, stressful and complicated, and legal fees can be seven times the amount people are trying to claim.

“ClaimItOnline solves this problem by using digital technology, making court alternatives such as arbitration and mediation accessible and cutting back on paperwork and red tape”.

Currently, if someone wants to recover a £30,000 debt, they could end up facing a staggering £160,000 bill for legal and court costs if they lose or recovering nothing if they win. Using ClaimItOnline, a £30,000 claim would typically cost £1,799 to resolve using either arbitration, mediation or fixed-price legal advice and would be resolved around 50 weeks sooner than the average time to get to trial using the court service.

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