Civil Justice Council's Final Report on Pre-Action Procotol

8th September 2023

The Civil Justice Council’s review on existing Pre-Action Protocols started in late 2020. Following the end of the consultation process in January 2022, the Civil Justice Council published a final report with conclusions and recommendations on 21 August 2022

The first recommendation is that the Overriding Objective be amended to refer to the need for compliance with and enforcement of pre-action protocols and that compliance be made mandatory.

There follows a recommendation that all online portals ask parties to identify any vulnerability and for additional information to be provided to these parties, as well as a recommendation that all portals be designed to be used by litigants in person as well as professional users and that a paper-based system be made available if adequate digital assistance is not available.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Governance of Pre-Action Protocol’s be allocated to the Online Procedural Rules Committee
  • Ministry of Justice look at the feasibility of developing a general online portal which can be linked to the main Pre-Action Protocol steps and the existing online portals such as Damages Claims Portal and Online Civil Money Claims.
  • The Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct be replaced by a Practice Direction that contains and general Pre-Action Protocol and a separate Pre-Action Protocol for claims worth £500 or less, streamlining the process for costs quantum disputes