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The Scottish Government has recently published its response to Sheriff Principal Taylor’s review on the expenses and funding of litigation, in which it sets out plans to introduce legislation that it says will create an accessible, affordable and equitable civil justice system for Scotland.

The Review was commissioned in March 2011 by the then Minister for Community Safety, Fergus Ewing MSP. The 85 recommendations, published in September 2013, set out the case for substantial changes to make the civil courts more accessible for all.

The Government’s response deals with the recommendations relating to the cost of litigation, sanction for counsel, qualified one way costs, damages based agreements, claims companies and referral fees.

The Scottish Government has said that it welcomes these recommendations, which will improve the ability of individuals with a genuine claim to vindicate their rights. In addition, it says, they will provide a framework for providing more predictability in the potential costs of pursuing litigation, which will improve access to justice.

The Scottish Government does not have the powers to solely deliver on all of the recommendations, for example some issues fall within the powers and remit of the Scottish Civil Justice Council. However, it has made a commitment to implement those within its remit and will work with other partners to support the wider delivery of the reforms.

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