The Overriding Principles of Affordable and Expeditious Adjudication

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter argues that an exaggerated pursuit of accuracy may undermine the effort to enforce the law, because it produces lengthy and expensive litigation that is likely to deter many from seeking enforcement in the first place, and to distort justice by subjecting the process to economic inequalities. When affordability and expedition are prioritised, courts will be expected to ensure that litigation remains within the financial reach of litigants and that it concludes within a short time. This means that the court must avoid unaffordable spending or lengthy litigation even when these might otherwise be justified by the features of the case in question, namely its value, complexity, importance, etc. The chapter explores the potentially far-reaching consequences of treating cost and time as dimensions of justice, surveying a number of ambitious proposals that question such entrenched procedural rules as the cost shifting rule, lawyers’ freedom to charge high fees, and professional monopoly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Civil Procedure Rules at 20
EditorsAndrew Higgins
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780198863182
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the several contributors 2020.


  • Abuse of process
  • Adjudication
  • Affordability
  • Efficiency
  • Expedition
  • Proportionality
  • Quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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