Wednesday, 7 November 2012

His Honour Sir Frank White RIP

Sad news that His Honour Sir Frank White has died (23rd October 2012, 85 years of age). He was behind much of what you see around today in the civil justice system - a civil trial centre for London (he was the first DCJ at Central London County Court), Court based mediation, training of judges (he authored "Bench Notes") and Civil Procedural Rules.  He was given a rare knighthood (for a Circuit Judge) on retirement in recognition of his great achievements (dubbed by the Prince of Wales alongside Sir Tom Stoppard).  He was President of the Council of HM Circuit Judges in 1990 and was made a Bencher of Gray's Inn and Fellow of KCL in 1997 when he retired.

I suspect he would be horrified by the virtual abolition of the county court now before Parliament - see here.  I suppose that nobody has noticed or protested this 'reform' because in the current climate there are bigger things to save than the local county court.  I am particularly surprised that the housing lobby has not been more vocal as the CPR currently requires all possession claims to be listed at the tenant's or mortgagee's local court - how will that stand when there are no local courts......still given the legal aid cuts I don't suppose there is any money to represent people at local courts anyway....

Still it might be nice if Parliamentarians put up a bit of a fuss before this treasured local justice institution is marched before the bureaucratic firing squad.  

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