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The civil justice system supports social order and economic activity, but a number of factors over the last decade have created a situation in which the value of civil justice is being undermined and the civil courts are in a state of dilapidation. For the 2008 Hamlyn Lectures, Dame Hazel Genn discusses reforms to civil justice in England and around the world over the last decade in the context of escalating expenditure on criminal justice and vanishing civil trials.
In critically assessing the claims and practice of mediation for civil disputes, she questions whether diverting cases out of the public courts and into private dispute resolution promotes access to justice, looks critically at the changed expectations of the judiciary in civil justice and points to the need for a better understanding of how judges ‘do justice’.