Some 80% of Sheffield residents feel the current justice system is too expensive.
A new survey, exclusively reported here, has found that over half of Brits don’t believe the current UK justice system is fair while 80% feel it’s too expensive and doesn’t help those who can’t afford expensive legal fees.
The study carried out by newly launched online dispute resolution service ClaimItOnline has found a shocking number of us feel let down by the state of the current justice system.
Over half (58%) of people from Sheffield think it doesn’t help the vulnerable while 45% believe our current justice system discriminates against certain groups.
Over 80% of city folk that have taken a case to small claims court found the experience stressful and a quarter said that, following their experience, they lost confidence in our justice system with 41% saying they wouldn’t recommend a friend of family member to pursue a case based on their experience.
Cost and stress came out as the top reasons holding people back from seeking justice currently, with stress and the time it takes to complete also scoring highly.
Despite a whopping 98% of people agreeing that solicitor fees are too expensive, only 15% of people would feel confident representing themselves in court. This means people are currently faced with either paying costs they believe are too high, representing themselves with a lack of confidence, or worryingly abandoning their right to justice completely.
When examining claim costs, the vast majority of respondents would be put off pursuing a claim due to the estimated legal costs (legal advice plus court fee), meaning a large percentage of people are going without justice due to the cost of our current legal system.
James Martin, Founder and Director at ClaimItOnline, said: “The civil justice system is failing most people. It’s excruciatingly slow, stressful and complicated, and legal fees can be seven times the amount people are trying to claim.
“ClaimItOnline solves this problem by using digital technology, making court alternatives such as arbitration and mediation accessible and cutting back on paperwork and red tape”.
Currently, if someone wants to recover a £30,000 debt, they could end up facing a staggering £160,000 bill for legal and court costs if they lose or recovering nothing if they win. Using ClaimItOnline, a £30,000 claim would typically cost £1,799 to resolve using either arbitration, mediation or fixed-price legal advice and would be resolved around 50 weeks sooner than the average time to get to trial using the court service.
ClaimItOnline helps people use arbitration to get an enforceable judgment on their claim in weeks rather than months or years or, if they prefer, they can use mediation to work out a settlement with the other side or simply obtain some legal advice about their claim and what to do next.
The new online service launches following the CCSR interim report from Lord Justice Briggs in January which stated “There is a clear and pressing need to create an Online Court for claims up to £25,000 designed for the first time to give litigants effective access to justice without having to incur the disproportionate cost of using lawyers.” and the launch of the European-wide Online Dispute Resolution platform for online purchases in February this year.