At the time of founding IE, nobody envisaged that, where an appeal was to be launched, cases would be referred for evaluation and facilitation after judgment. However, experience has shown that this can and does happen; pending appeals can be settled following judgment and permission to appeal.
Judgment at trial does not always bring cases to a close; inevitably there are appeals. When parties find themselves in this situation they face a “lamentable state of affairs”, to quote Lord Justice Briggs in his recent Review of the Civil Courts. In 2001, the published projected waiting time for an appeal was “not more than 10 months”. By 2015, this had increased to 19 months. Lord Justice Briggs notes that waiting times “seriously and continuously exceed the published guidelines and … there is every reason to suppose that the waiting times will continue to deteriorate.”
As many users of the Court of Appeal have discovered to their dismay, there is a troubling increase in the number of listed appeals which, having waited for considerable periods, are taken out of the list by the Court office at a late stage because some other appeal has been certified as ‘expedited’. Many have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Court of Appeal mediation offering, commenting that the time for mediation is invariably long past and that an evaluation is required.
The judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Civil Division are among the most highly-regarded in the world: their integrity and incorruptibility is beyond question and, being chosen from among seasoned practitioners, their experience and expertise leaves little to be desired.
IE is the only organisation that enables parties to have their appeals evaluated independently by recently retired members of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, sitting alone or as a panel of two or three.
Depending on the nature of the dispute and the requirements of the parties, IE can provide a single appeal judge or two or three member panels.
Permission to appeal will normally have been granted before the IE process begins, unless the parties agree otherwise. If practicable, parties should discuss referral to IE in advance of the permission hearing so that they have a ready-mapped route in the event that permission is granted.
IE can bring on appeals extremely quickly, particularly as trial bundles, grounds of appeal and skeleton arguments should all be to hand. The capacity of our Evaluators to deliver extempore decisions means that closure is achievable much more quickly than through the Court of Appeal and without the risk of the case being adjourned.