BOOK REVIEW - Construction Law, Costs and Contemporary Developments
Construction Law, Costs and Contemporary Developments: Drawing the Threads Together: A Festschrift for Lord Justice Jackson edited by Julian Bailey. Published by Hart Publishing (2018). Pages 416. Hardback. £80.00. ISBN No 978-1-509-91994-9.
This tribute to Sir Rupert Jackson for his contribution to development of the law and the civil justice system in England and Wales is itself a cause for celebration. The prodigious volume of work produced by Lord Justice Jackson over the course of his illustrious legal career has provided a wealth of material from which these selections have been made. The contributors have concentrated on three areas for which he is particularly remembered: (a) saving the TCC; (b) reforming civil litigation costs; and (c) evolution of construction law.
Lord Justice Coulson considers the formidable task faced by Sir Rupert in reforming the TCC. The choices facing Jackson J, as he then was, when he was made judge in charge in 2004, were stark: reform or close the TCC. For Sir Rupert, failure was not an option. Reform would be implemented and would be successful. His first major change was to provide that all future judges in the London TCC should be High Court appointments. Understandably, that was not welcomed by the incumbent judges, who felt over-worked and unappreciated. Undeterred, Jackson J went forth into battle, hearing cases and delivering ex tempore judgments with astonishing speed. By his intellectual brilliance, hard toil and determination, he turned around the performance of the court and changed public perception of the TCC into a court notable for the efficacy and efficiency of its processes and decisions. As Lord Justice Coulson acknowledges: “it is no exaggeration to say that this happy state of affairs is primarily the responsibility of just one person: Sir Rupert Jackson.”
Sir Rupert faced an even greater challenge on his elevation to the Court of Appeal in 2008, namely, a fundamental review of the costs of civil litigation. Lord Clarke recalls Sir Rupert’s organisation, discipline and sheer hard work in identifying the problems, consulting interested parties, and writing the report within one year. His conclusions were logically deduced from the evidence, forthright and clear: amend the rules of proceedings to streamline the litigation process and cut out unnecessary work; amend the funding rules so that no method of funding generates increased costs and make available as many different funding options as possible; facilitate and incentivise early settlement of disputes; simplify and streamline the method of quantifying what the loser pays to the winner; and control the amount of recoverable costs in advance and limit them to that which is proportionate. Despite receiving unfair criticism for prohibiting recovery
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