by Joanna McCunn and Andrew Bell, University of Bristol Law School
In June this year, there was a revolution in the English court system. Under the Small Claims Paper Determination Pilot, some claimants seeking £1,000 or less lost the right to an oral hearing of their case. In pilot areas, only small claims involving a ‘significant factual dispute’ or ‘complex’ issues will be allowed their day in open court. If you are bringing a claim in the pilot area for something like a parking ticket, or flight delay compensation, or have another kind of low-value dispute with another person or company, you will not be able to have your argument presented in person. Regardless of your wishes, you will have to write your argument down and the judge will decide without anyone there.