The Ministry of Justice has circulated the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments. This covers changes which have immediate effect as well as changes which come into force on 1 October 2018 and 1 January 2019.
The changes come in to force on three different dates being with Wednesday 4 September, Monday 1 October 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2019. A copy of the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments document is available here:
The scheduled changes are set out below and in addition, we have identified a changes which had previously been identified but which will now not be coming into force.
Some of the changes have been discussed in previous CPR Committee meetings and, where we have been provided with the minutes and supporting documents, we have provided links.
4 September 2018
Revocation of 99th Update—Practice Direction Amendments
1 October 2018
Allocation of cases to levels of judiciary
Not previously notified. There will be the following changes to CPR PD 2B:
- para 8.1 is substituted into its entirety. This deals with applications for order and interim injunctions and which level of judge can deal with such applications
- para 8.3 is substituted into its entirety. It deals with orders fir committal and the attachment of the power of arrest to an injunction or remand of a person. These are to be dealt with by a circuit judge unless certain circumstances apply in which case they ay be dealt with by a district judge.
Shorter and flexible trials
These have already been piloted in the Business & Property Courts and are to be introduced permanently. This will be Practice Direction 57AB as set out in Annex C to the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments. Practice Direction—Business and Property Courts is renumbered as Practice Direction 57AA.
This was discussed by the CPR Committee on 11 May 2018 as item 8 on the agenda. for information, see Practice Note: CPR Committee open meeting 11 May 2018:
- The Shorter Trial Scheme—a streamlined procedure leading to judgment within a year of issue of proceedings. For commercial parties it offers dispute resolution on a commercial timescale. For information about the pilot scheme, see Practice Note: Rolls Building—shorter trials pilot scheme for claims issued on or after 1 October 2015
- The Flexible Trial Scheme—adopts agreed flexible case management procedures resulting in a simplified and expedited procedure than the current full trial procedure. For information about the pilot scheme, see Practice Note: Rolls Building—flexible trials pilot scheme for claims issued on or after 1 October 2015
Contempt of court
District judges are to be given the power to commit a person for breach of an injunction and provisions in the rules which relate to repealed legislation on certain injunctions and are considered now to be spent is being removed. The amendments are in CPR PD 81 at para 20.2. Sub para (2) will omit the words after ‘judge of the County Court’ to the end.
This amendment is to reinforce the principles that the Welsh language has official status in Wales.
The Practice Direction relating to the use of the Welsh language in cases in the civil courts in or having a connection with Wales is to be substituted with new text set out in Annex D to the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments.
The Welsh language was considered by the CPR Committee on 11 May 2018 as item 14 on the agenda. for information, see Practice Note: CPR Committee open meeting 11 May 2018.
1 January 2019
The electronic working pilot scheme
Electronic working in the Queen’s Bench Division—a pilot will run between 1 January 2019 until 6 April 2020. Practice Direction 51O is to be substituted for a new version which is set out in Annex A to the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments.
BPC Disclosure Pilot
The scheme is intended to improve the culture of commercial litigation, speed up business litigation and for disclosure to be more proportionate to the issues in the litigation. A New practice direction 51U will be added. The text is provided in Annex B to the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments.
The new Practice Direction provides for a two-year pilot to test the proposals ie from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021. The pilot scheme is not retrospective in that it will not disturb any order for disclosure made prior to the 1 January 2019 unless the order is varied or set aside.
Not coming into force
The following had been identified as potentially coming into force but it has not been included in the 100th Update—Practice Direction Amendments.
Online civil money claims
The Online Civil Money Claims Project has been live since March 2018 and offers a digital service for money claims for less than £10,000. It is available to litigants in person, it enables them to populate text boxes easily and swiftly as well as providing clear information about what to do at each stage of the proceedings and to check progress online. Amendments to Practice Direction 51R were intended to reflect changes in the online service which were to incorporate the full /part admission stage and options for online settlement, states paid defence and the inclusion of the formula calculator to capture and assess means.
This pilot scheme was considered by the CPR Committee on 11 May 2018 as item 4 on the agenda. for information, see Practice Note: CPR Committee open meeting 11 May 2018.