Law student to sue Lord Chancellor

A law student who claims he was treated unfairly in court is planning to take legal action against the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine.


Justin Cohen, a first year undergraduate at Birkbeck College, filed a claim against the Lord Chancellor, Lord Scott of Foscote and the Lord Chancellor’s Department in September, because he believed his original case was damaged by the “messy” implementation of the Woolf reforms (the new Civil Procedure Rules) in 1999.

Cohen, who was defending an application for summary judgment at the Court of Appeal in June 1999, when the Woolf reforms were brought in, said it was unfair that the “goalposts were shifted” half-way through his case. Cohen was declared bankrupt and suffered from depression as a result of his original case in 1999.

“I’m entitled to legal certainty,” he said. “It is well documented that there was major confusion over the rules being implemented.”

Although his claim of negligence and/or breach of statutory duty against the Lord Chancellor was struck out, Cohen is determined to take the case as far as he can. He added: “Nothing is going to stop me.”