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Stewart Stevenson (Scottish National Party) | Question S3W-40153
To ask the Scottish Executive when it will take forward the review of the cost and funding of litigation recommended by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, in The Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review.
Fergus Ewing (Scottish National Party)
A review of the costs and funding of litigation in Scotland is to be undertaken very shortly and will be led by Sheriff Principal James Taylor when he retires from the bench in April.
The terms of reference for the review are:
To review the costs and funding of civil litigation in the Court of Session and Sheriff Court in the context of the recommendations of the Scottish Civil Courts Review, and the response of the Scottish Government to that review.
In undertaking this review, to:
Consult widely, gather evidence, compare our expenses regime with those of other jurisdictions and have regard to research and previous enquiries into costs and funding, including the Civil Litigation Costs Review of Lord Justice Jackson;
Consider issues in relation to the affordability of litigation; the recoverability and assessment of expenses, and different models of funding litigation (including contingency, speculative and conditional fees, before and after the event insurance, referral fees and claims management);
Consider the extent to which alternatives to public funding may secure appropriate access to justice, and pay particular attention to the potential impact of any recommendations on publically funded legal assistance;
Have regard to the principles of civil justice outlined in Chapter 1, paragraph 5 of the Civil Courts Review;
Consider other factors and reasons why parties may not litigate in Scotland; and
Report with recommendations to Scottish ministers, together with supporting evidence within 18 months of the work commencing.