A pilot scheme to test block-listing of fast-track civil cases threw the Central London County Court (CLCC) into ‘chaos’ this week, lawyers have told the Gazette.The scheme, which will run until 11 September at the Royal Courts of Justice, caused lengthy delays when it was launched on Tuesday, with many parties waiting all morning for their cases to be heard.The scheme block-lists fast-track civil cases on an unassigned list in the CLCC in order to ‘maximise’ the number of cases that can be heard in a day. The unassigned list means that no judge is assigned to a case in the hope that one will become free, for example if another case settles.The pilot covers cases from all London county courts as well as suitable cases from some county courts in the south-east.The Gazette understands that on the first day of the pilot scheme 28 cases had been placed on the unassigned list rather than the usual total of around six. One barrister said there was ‘utter chaos’ in the morning as there were ‘nowhere near enough’ judges to hear the unassigned trials. He said that some cases were sent to nearby courts with capacity, such as Clerkenwell, while his case was eventually heard at 2.30pm.Jasmine Murphy, a barrister at Hardwicke, said her one-day hearing which had been listed for 10am was not heard until 4pm when it was adjourned at the request of the opposing side.While there have been some delays in the past due to the unassigned list, there have never been delays to this extent, she said.HM Courts and Tribunal Service said that all cases were ‘dealt with’ by the end of the day. It confirmed that ‘dealt with’ cases include those adjourned. It added that the scheme was run at this time to utilise the spare courtroom capacity at the Royal Courts of Justice during the summer vacation.HMCTS plans to review the pilot at the end of the pilot and get user feedback, but said it was too early to say whether the scheme will be rolled out to other courts if it proves successful. The experiences left some lawyers concerned about how the system would work if it were to be used more regularly.‘I don’t think it’s an efficient system, nor a costs-saving system and it puts unfair pressure on judges, court staff, parties, witnesses and their legal representatives,’ Murphy said.
“So we have a lot to offer the world, and the world is interested. The only thing holding us back is our fears and incapacities. We are limited by our fears, and we just have to believe in ourselves and I believe in it 100 per cent,” he said. The controversial football aficionado says that his accom-plishments with Phoenix Academy is proof that he can advance Jamaica’s football, and he argues that being a good president does not mean that one has to be a good administrator. “A president leads from the front and delegates to those who are strong in administration. The president goes out and is the face and negotiates opportunities, contracts, and games for international funding, sponsorship, marketing, and placement of players. The JFF can take a more active role in player placement. “So captain Burrell was no administrator. He had good administrators to support him. But Craig Butler brings to the table of JFF what he accomplished with Phoenix. The contacts, links overseas, and from a decision-making perspective to deliver the best solutions,” he continued. Founder of the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy Craig Butler has hit back at those who argue that he would better serve Jamaican football as a youth development coordinator rather than as president. Butler, who has vowed to seek local football’s top job, said a president should lead from the front and chart the way forward, and he is convinced that he has the vision to make Jamaica a world power in football and has called on Jamaicans to support him and ‘believe’. “If I do not become Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, I will serve my country in whatever capacity I can. But Jamaica needs the full extent of what I bring, and it would have to be as JFF president,” he said. “The vision is to make Jamaica a world power. To have Jamaican players earning a great deal of money to send back to their communities and families. To have a national team that consistently gets in the top four of the World Cup. To generate income through high-level games with big clubs, set up tournaments to encourage sport tourism and a new income stream by developing our coaches. Influential internationally Good administrator Butler insists that drastic changes are needed to advance Jamaica’s football and that he is the man for the job. “A lot of changes and support are needed. I will be more influential internationally with the authority of president behind me. And the JFF needs to be self-sufficient,” he said. Since returning to the island last weekend, Butler has been busy trying to rally support for his presidential ambitions, and he declared that things are looking good for him so far. “I have the support from several (parish presidents) already, and I am soliciting heavily from the rest, and I believe if they genuinely want the best for Jamaica’s football, they will support me,” he said.