AutorJohn Sorabji
Civil litigation is often described as being in a state of crisis. Excess
complexity. Excess cost. And excess delay. Each one is too often seen as
undermining the effectiveness and accessibility of our civil justice sys-
tems. It makes little to no difference whether the system is a common
law one or civilian one. The problems are the same, even if they manifest
themselves in different ways.
The question remains how to cure them. Many methods have been
tried. In the 20th century the three waves of the access to justice move-
ment tried to resolve the problems. That they remain tells its own story.
In the common law world a more recent answer has been to reform the
rules of civil procedure. Again, complexity, cost and delays continued ex-
istence gives the lie to any claim that those reforms succeeded. Today
these problems are brought into ever sharper relief when civil litigation
is compared with the simplicity, speed, and low-cost forms of online dis-
pute resolution offered by private corporations.
If eBay can successfully resolve millions of low value claims each
year, why is it that our civil justice systems cannot? Why not outsource
John Sorabji, UCL
Doctor en Derecho (Oxford) Profesor de Justicia Civil en
University College of London, Reino Unido

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