In 1999, the civil justice system changed dramatically. The old system was replaced by a new set of rules recommended by Lord Woolf called the "Civil Procedure Rules" The previous system was thought too expensive, too slow, and incomprehensible to the ordinary person. The new and improved version is designed so that the Courts can deliver just results; litigants are treated fairly and the process can be easily understood by the users of the system.
All claims are initially treated in the same way by the Court. A Claim Form is submitted to the Court with a fee. The case is then allocated to what is known as "a track" by a Judge. The aim of the Court is then to bring the case to Trial as quickly and efficiently as possible, depending upon the track to which it is allocated.
There are three "tracks":
- Small Claims Track - Claims under £5000 or where the damages for personal injury are below £1000
- Fast Track - Claims between £5000 - £15000
- Multi Track - Claims above £15000