Before Lord Woolf (above) reported on the civil justice system, it was in a bit of a mess, and very difficult to use. Some of the problems are referred to here. Things have improved since then - have a look at this powerpoint by Kennedys solicitors on the impact of "Woolf" and future reforms.
Following Woolf, the Civil Procedure Rules have been introduced. These are the first reference point for lawyers running civil cases and they are all online here.
The Middleton Report into the Civil Court system is also available to view here.
TASK: Find out from the website given here what the overriding objective of the CPR is and note it down!
Remember: you need to know what the problems of the system were, and how well Woolf has addressed these - what has and hasn't improved? TASK: Make a list!