Earlier this month, the CPRC circulated the minutes and associated papers of its 2 February meeting. At the meeting, the committee’s discussions included proposed amendments to CPR 45 and 36—Gastric Illness claims (GI claims) in relation to package travel claims, a consultation exercise on open justice, the pre-action protocol on professional negligence to include adjudication pilot scheme, proposed amendments to either CPR 40 or the County Court (Interest on Judgment Debt) Order 1991, amendments to District Judges’ power to commit, new formats for detailed costs bill, Precedent H, Precedent H guidance and Form N260, implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (Privacy notice and anonymity orders) and an evaluation report on the Online Court Pilot.
Agenda and minutes
Proposed amendments to CPR 45 and 36—Gastric Illness claims in relation to package travel claims
At the 1 December 2017 meeting, it was proposed that such claims be subject to a fixed recoverable costs regime. Since then, the sub-committee has considered further the changes that would need to be made to section IIIA of CPR Pt 45 and produced a report. The draft amendments to Rule 45.29 proposed by the sub-committee are set out in Annex A to this report and reflect the Ministry of Justice’s proposal on the scale of fixed costs to be applied in relation to GI claims. The changes to Part 45 would bring into effect the process to be set out in the pre-action protocol. The committee considered the draft pre-action protocol and made some drafting suggestions. The redraft will be considered by the sub-committee and it will be considered again at the March 2018 meeting. Note that the Civil Justice Council (CJC) is also considering the Gastric Illness Pre-action Protocol issue and a member of the CJC attended the CPR meeting. The amendments to the rules were agreed with the exception of a point raised in relation to Part 36.
The Ministry of Justice has agreed to undertake a consultation exercise on open justice, subject to ministerial clearance.
Pre-action Protocol for Professional Negligence to include Adjudication Pilot Scheme
The working party have decided that there is now sufficient material to end the pilot scheme, and unanimously recommended that the scheme be added to the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence Disputes. Draft amendments were considered and changes were approved subject to incorporation of amendments.
Proposed amendments to either CPR 40 or the County Courts (Interest on Judgment Debt) Order 1991
There is currently a conflict between CPR 40.8 and article 2(1) of the County Courts (Interest on Judgment Debts) Order 1991, SI 1991/1184 in relation to determining the time from when post judgment interest in the County Court payable under section 74 of the County Court Act 1984 should run.
The committee, in considering which approach should prevail, concluded that it would be appropriate to change the Order which provides the statutory power for the County Court, even though it would be the longer procedure.
District judges’ power to commit
The County Court powers are to commit to prison or to fine someone, there are no other alternatives. This was originally considered in relation to breaches of injunctions in antisocial behavior proceedings which has led to overpopulation of prisons, but it also applies in some other cases. A consultation with district circuit judges had shown they were in favour of amendments to the power in Part 81. The committee considered the draft amendments, and subject to some changes, agreed to them.
These are draft amendments to the Power to Commit which include amendments to:
New format for detailed costs bill, Precedent H, Precedent H guidance and Form N260
There were no papers for this. The committee were updated that work is ongoing to ensure that these documents are all consistent and accurate. Form N260 (summary assessment) will also follow the same format. Note that the content of Precedent H will not be changing.
Implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (Privacy notice and anonymity orders)
Processing of personal data is governed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Regulation (EU) 2016/679, and the Data Protection Act 2018. The Regulation and Act come into force in May 2018. The committee took the view that the principle of the application of the regulation and the act to civil proceedings needed to be considered and the Ministry of Justice agreed to investigate this. The committee endorsed the change to FormFinder and, subject to minor amends, agreed changes to Form PF10.
Evaluation report on the Online Court Pilot
There are two strands to this project, a pilot for claims made by legal representatives of claimants and a pilot for litigants in person.
They are being developed as a private beta and public beta platform. Only the private ones are currently operating and are being controlled by HMCTS. The current work for the committee is to make the change from private beta to public beta and to extend the process to the next steps in the litigation procedure, eg admissions. The committee is involved not only in the drafting, but also deciding whether the pilot should go public and the committee has identified a number of issues with the private beta system. The committee delegated the decision of when the system should go public to the sub-committee and it agreed to one pilot being a hybrid between the private and public beta platforms. The proposed live date was stated to be 26 March 2018.
The following were also discussed
- A sub-committee will consider Part 21 (children and protected parties) in relation to the growing number of payment out to meet success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums
- Letter from the CIPA re CPR 27.3 (1)representation at a hearing. Mr Justice Birss advised that a different provision would need to be made to provide for the right to represent of licensed members with litigation and advocacy rights. He would provide a paper with the necessary amendments.
- A welsh member is due to join the committee shortly
- It was not considered appropriate to consider the statement of truth issue raised in Liverpool Victoria Insurance v Yavuz at this time