Major study into litigation funding and costs publishes

28 September 2010

The findings of a major international study into the funding and costs of litigation in thirty-five countries is published today. The policy brief, the first in a series on European civil justice systems, summarizes the results of an extensive research project by a team at Oxford University to investigate the costs of litigation cases and provide recommendations for possible alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

The project has already proven influential in contributing to the Review of Civil Litigation Costs in England and Wales conducted by Lord Justice Jackson earlier this year.

The policy brief, written by Dr Christopher Hodges and Professor Stefan Vogenauer of Oxford University, is published as costs and funding are assuming far greater importance as keys to evaluating and providing access to justice. The policy brief addresses the problem of maintaining fair and equal access to justice for all, whilst controlling cost and delay, a problem of particular relevance as governments across Europe are set to impose significant cuts in public expenditure as a consequence of the current economic climate.

Using data supplied by leading practitioners across the thirty-five jurisdictions, the study looks at nine case studies of categories of claim, and conducts a comparative analysis of the range of approaches taken to administering them, before setting out possible alternative approaches.

A book by Hart publishing will be published later this year, in which the details of the study and its findings will be presented in full.

The policy brief represents the first publication in the new European Civil Justice Systems programme. The programme aims to investigate all options for dispute resolution in a European state, analysing the principles and procedures that should, or do apply, evaluating effectiveness and outcomes, and proposing new frameworks and solutions.

Findings of a Major Comparative Study on Litigation and Funding Costs
Christopher Hodges and Stefan Vogenauer