Litigation and litigation avoidance - tying ourselves in knots? with Sir Bernard Crick, Jon Holbrook, Philip K Howard, John Peysner and Claire Fox speaking at a panel discussion during the Institute of Ideas' The Battle of Ideas Conference 2006.
Civil law is increasingly concerned not merely with especially important or complicated transactions such as marriage or major business deals, but with everyday life, regulating everything from school trips to adverts on TV. Relationships once considered beyond the purview of law are now scrutinized by armies of lawyers, often at the request of the parties involved. This has led to complaints about a litigious society in which people are too afraid of being sued to do anything that might result in a summons to court. Is litigation a necessary corrective to the perils of the free market? Is it a problem of ambulance-chasing lawyers and a litigation industry, or does our litigious culture point to a deeper problem of distrust and mutual suspicion between the public and our institutions?- IoI
Camera by David Dunbar for http://www.18doughtystreet.com
Sir Bernard Crick
Sir Bernard Crick is currently Emeritus Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College London. He is a former Adviser on Citizenship to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and then on citizenship as naturalization and integration for the Home Office. He is the author of In Defence of Politics and of George Orwell: a Life.
Claire Fox is the director of the Institute of Ideas (IoI), which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint.
Fox initiated the IoI while co-publisher of the current affairs journal LM magazine (formerly Living Marxism). The IoI has since worked with a variety of prestigious institutions in Britain and abroad.
Fox is a panelist on BBC Radio 4's "The Moral Maze" and is regularly invited to comment on developments in culture, education and the media on TV and radio. Fox writes regularly for national newspapers and a range of specialist journals. Fox has a monthly column in the Municipal Journal.
Jon Holbrook is a barrister who practices in public law at 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, London. He has previously written for a number of publications including spiked, The Times and the Independent.
Philip K. Howard
Philip K. Howard is a lawyer, author and civic leader. He is the author of, Life Without Lawyers, as well as the best-seller The Death of Common Sense and The Collapse of the Common Good, and he is a periodic contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
He advises leaders of both parties on legal and regulatory reform issues, and wrote the introduction to Vice President Al Gore's book Common Sense Government. A practicing lawyer, Howard is a partner in the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. In 2002, Howard founded Common Good (www.commongood.org), organized to restore common sense to American public life. The Advisory Board of Common Good is composed of leaders from a broad cross-section of American political thought including, among others, former Senators Howard Baker, Bill Bradley, George McGovern, and Alan Simpson.
Howard is a civic leader in New York and is Chair-Emeritus of the Municipal Art Society, a leading civic group that spearheaded initiatives to preserve Grand Central Terminal.
John Peysner is a Solicitor and Professor of Civil Justice at Nottingham Law School. He has edited The Litigator and was founding Course Leader of the LLM in Advanced Litigation. He has seventeen years experience in litigation practice, including Law Centres, Legal Aid and latterly, defendant Medical Negligence.
He writes on conditional fees, the civil justice changes, litigation skills and funding, risk management and assessment and clinical negligence. He has conducted research on case management, costs, civil procedural systems, consumer attitudes to solicitor's services and testing in house against contracted legal services. He was a member of the Lord Chancellor's Committee on Claims Assessors (The Blackwell Committee) and wrote the first draft of the report. He is a member of the Civil Justice Council. He is editor of the Law Society's Civil Litigation Handbook.