The Impact of Legislation on the Outcomes of Civil Litigation: An Empirical Analysis of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
18 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 2019
The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force in England and Wales in 2013, Part 2 of which brought a number of reforms to the costs and conduct of civil litigation. The current paper seeks to provide the first empirical evaluation of LASPO Part 2. We begin by discussing and presenting the types of data that are required for the evaluation given the difficulties caused by the changing mix of pre- and post-LASPO rules applying to settled claims. We then present graphical and regression analysis to show that LASPO appears to have had a statistically significant effect on settlement behaviour and on the overall costs of litigation, at least in relation to the types of claim and data sources considered here. There are fewer claims, and their recovered base costs, damages and use of formal legal proceedings have all diminished. In our conclusion we put these results in context of the declared objectives of the reforms, speculate on what may have caused the behavioural shifts we observe, and comment on ways to develop the research.
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