Kerry Underwood

QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION GUIDE: NEW EDITION

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QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION GUIDE: NEW EDITION

On 21 August 2018 a new edition – the sixth – of the Queen’s Bench Guidance published and this is known as the Queen’s Bench Guide 2018 and is here.

This replaces the previous guide and is effective immediately and the following changes should be noted:

  • On issue of a claim, the claimant is required to complete the Queen’s Bench Allocation of Claims form (in Annex 3) so that the claim can be allocated to a specialist list or master (paragraph 4.1.6).

 

  • A directions order for trial will be sent to the Queen’s Bench Listing Office, who will notify all parties of a listing appointment for a trial date or period within the trial window, which will usually be six weeks from the date the order is sealed (or three weeks in the case of mesothelioma liability trials) (paragraphs 10.4.1, 20.1.2 and 20.4.5).

 

  • For trials, skeleton arguments should be filed and served not later than 10am two days before the trial, and for substantial applications, no later than 10am one day before the application.

 

Where one party is a litigant in person (LIP) and the other is represented, the represented party should try and provide their skeleton argument to the LIP two days before the hearing (paragraphs 12.3.7 and 20.8).

 

  • The trial window will be no longer than three months, unless the court considers there is a good reason for requiring a longer trial window, in which case directions will be given for a trial window no longer than four months (paragraph 20.1.1).

 

  • While efforts to accommodate the convenience of counsel will be made when listing a trial, this is not a determinative factor (paragraph 20.1.5)

 

Media & Communications List

A list of claims that should be allocated to the List: defamation, malicious falsehood, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, breach of data protection rights and misuse of personal data, harassment, and injunctions to restrain publication (paragraph 19.3).

  • Clarification that rulings on meaning in defamation cases can take place at any time, since the question is no longer one for a jury (paragraph 19.7).
  • Clarification that, in defamation cases, questions of meaning and serious harm should ordinarily be dealt with together at an interlocutory stage. The court will be slow to direct a preliminary issue as to serious harm involving substantial evidence (paragraph 19.8).

 

 

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Written by kerryunderwood

August 24, 2018 at 11:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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