Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Posts Tagged ‘enforcement agents

Review of the work of enforcement agents (bailiffs)

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Legislative changes to the rules regulation the work of debt enforcement agents were introduced in 2014. They were the subject of an initial post-implementation review in 2015. The Government has announced (25 November 2018) a second post-implementation review to see what further changes may be needed to the regulatory framework.

The Government is interested in hearing from people who have been contacted by enforcement agents: enforcement agents, creditors, debt advisers, the judiciary and anybody else with experience of working with enforcement agents.

The Consultation runs until February 2019. For details see https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-enforcement-agent-bailiff-reforms-call-for-evidence.

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Written by lwtmp

November 29, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Suspension of the Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme (TCEP).

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What is the point of going to court if, having obtained a judgement in your favour, you cannot get it enforced? This has long been recognised as a problem for the Civil Justice system.

Reforms to the relevant law were introduced in April 2014.

In this blog in June 2018 I noted the publication of a review of how the new rules relating to the enforcement of judgements were operating, based on the first full year of their operation. Reform of the legal basis of enforcement was an important part of the Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme, which was itself an important adjunct (though separately funded) of the Transforming our Justice System programme.

The aim of TCEP was that, through better investment in IT, enforcement would be able to be carried out more quickly and efficiently.

The Government has now announced that the TCEP is to be put on hold – the Ministry of Justice just does not have enough money to take the programme forward. While changes that have been made will continue to be implemented, further change and investment must wait.

This will be very disappointing news for those who would like to see significant improvement in enforcement work.

The announcement, made on 6 September 2018, is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/compliance-and-enforcement-work-to-continue-unchanged

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by lwtmp

September 6, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Enforcement of judgments

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One of the challenges for the civil justice system is knowing how to enforce judgments made by the courts that money should be paid by the losing party to the winner. At the heart of this issue is the problem of whether someone cannot pay (because they just do not have the resources) or won’t pay (because they won’t).

The rules relating to enforcement agents working for both the High Court and County Court were amended with effect from April 2014, and a review of the first year of operation of the new rules was started a year later in 2015. The results of that review were published in April 2018.

The results of the review are not in themselves particularly startling though there are indications that the new rules are beginning to have some impact, both in relation to the behaviour of enforcement agents, and in encouraging people to come to an agreement before their possessions are actually seized for sale (the usual objective of enforcement action in civil cases).

This is very much work in progress. Indeed, a significant component of the big Transformation Programme is the Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme (TCEP) which is upgrading systems in HMCTS’s National Compliance and Enforcement Service, used to enforce court orders such as penalties and compensation. If this works, this will have impact across the whole of the justice system, not just civil justice, as it will also deal with fines and compensation orders made in criminal courts.

For the one year review, see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695833/one-year-review-bailiff-reform-web.pdf

Written by lwtmp

June 8, 2018 at 10:32 am