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Reimagining the Law 29 June 2020

1. Better trials

We should stop trying to avoid hearing cases - especially civil and family - and start trying to do them better. What can best be done on paper, what remotely and what face to face? How best to find the truth? Think flexibly and put the judge in charge!
Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE PC FBA 

2. The shape of the law: its accessibility to the user

I. Legislation should not only produce the desired legal effect but also be drafted so as to communicate with the user.

II. On this count the Insolvency Act 1986, as prospectively amended by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill now before Parliament which includes several temporary provisions, has in form become the most horrendous piece of legislation on the statute book. Entire new Parts have been inserted, with their own chapter numbers and schedules, so that 30 pages separate section 2 from section 1 and it is impossible to find one's way around the paper version. 14 Schedules have been added, with bizarre numbering such as Schedule ZA1, while detailed textual amendments have been made to existing Schedules in a Bill some 233 pages long.

III. The Insolvency Act should now be recast, with proper sequential numbering and a redistribution between the Act, which contains many procedural provisions that should be in the rules, and the rules, which contain a number of substantive law provisions that should be in the Act.
Sir Roy Goode QC

3. UK - the new model mixed legal system

Let's embrace our mixed legal system - with common law underpinnings with civil law/EU overtones. The new system/parameters/norms should be recorded or codified - through Select Committees/Bingham Centre-BIICL (cf American Law Institute work). In this way, we return to our historical role of inventing universal norms in economic and property norms (contract, tort, and patents, copyright).
Professor Dr. Uma Suthersanen

4. Section 4.12 of The Mayson Report

In-house legal departments should be separate regulated business units; IHLs may need express conditions in employment contracts; direct reporting to the Board and beyond to one Regulator. Corporate failures are a societal risk. In house lawyers "have to be able to sound alarm bells without the chilling effect of potential reprisal". Who knew?
Ciaran Fenton

5. Time for a holistic approach to dispute resolution

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional constructs of dispute resolution that are no longer fit for purpose must be reviewed. We need a holistic approach of resolving as well as preventing disputes. Cost and time savings can no longer be a topic for conference-goers, but must be seen as core key performance indicators for dispute resolution mechanisms, institutions and adjudicators alike. The goal must be to resolve the dispute, not fit the dispute into a factory-setting procedure.
Chiann Bao

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