Policy in practice: English law in 2024

06 June 2024

In this episode of policy in practice, David Gauke, Christopher Charlton and Chloe Edworthy discuss the state of English law and its international standing.

Together they discuss:

  • the impact of Brexit on legal jurisdiction;
  • the status of judicial recruitment; and 
  • the role of technology within the legal system.

If you would like more information or want to discuss any of the topics in this podcast, please get in touch with David, Christopher or Chloe.

Episode summary

In this latest policy in practice podcast, David Gauke, head of public policy at Macfarlanes, discusses the state of English law and its international standing with litigation partners Christopher Charlton and Chloe Edworthy. They address three main topics.

The first topic of discussion is the impact of Brexit on legal jurisdiction. Initially there were some concerns about the enforcement of judgments post-Brexit and the resulting attractiveness of the English Courts. However, these concerns have largely been mitigated, with the Hague Convention functioning well, providing a stable framework for cross-border enforcement. And in a positive development, arbitration has become a more popular form of resolution, indirectly benefiting from Brexit by increasing its visibility and application.

The conversation then moves to the second topic of discussion, judicial recruitment. David recalls past challenges in recruiting high-calibre judges, however recent years have seen improvements, with a number of strong judicial appointments maintaining the renowned high standards of the English judiciary. This is crucial for the attractiveness of England and Wales as a jurisdiction for commercial disputes.

In the latter part of the podcast, the discussion moves to the final topic of the role of technology within the legal system. Technology has altered legal processes,  like in most industries, with electronic bundles, virtual hearings, and AI-assisted document review becoming common. However, the discussion looks at how the legal system is gradually integrating technology more fundamentally, highlighting the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging technologies like AI, and where the English legal system is making significant strides in setting precedents and adapting to new legal issues, for example, as seen with digital assets.

The podcast concludes on an optimistic note about the adaptability and continued relevance of the English legal system in a rapidly changing global landscape.

If you would like a full written transcript of this podcast, please get in touch.