6 CPR Changes for October 2015

1 octoberThe Civil Procedure (Amendments No. 4) Rules 2015 SI 2015/1569 (L20) setting out the upcoming CPR changes has been published, with the new provisions coming into force on Thursday 1 October 2015.

The changes reflect the need for better case management of cases involving litigants in person, emphasise the use of Early Neutral Evaluation, address access to court documents, require claimants to file particulars of claim, make changes to the commencement of detailed assessment and cover the creation of the new Financial List.

The changes are:

1. Early Neutral Evaluation

Amendment of rule 3.1 dealing with courts general powers of management to make it clear that the courts powers include hearing an Early Neutral Evaluation. The rationale for the change is set out in the minutes of the CPR Committee meeting held on 12 June 2015.

2. Litigants in person

Inserting a new rule 3.1A making provision for the way in which the court is to approach case management in a case where at least one of the parties is unrepresented.

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3. Access to court documents

Insertion in Part 5 of a cross-reference to provisions which disapply, or apply with modifications, provisions in that Part about such access.

4. Filing particulars of claim

Rule 7.4 is to be amended to ensure that the claimant not only serves particulars of claim on the defendant, but also files them.

5. Detailed assessment

In cases in which a costs management order has been made, a breakdown of the costs for each phase of the proceedings must be provided.

6. The new Financial List

Insertion of a new Part 63A to introduce a new specialist list called the Financial List which will handle the more complex and important financial markets cases.

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The SI also covers amendment to Part 52 by the insertion of a new rule 52.15B covering appeals of planning statutory reviews. The changes require s 91 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 to come into force. There is currently no date for the initial commencement of this section which provides that the procedure for certain planning challenges will be amended as set out in Sch 16 of the Act.

Despite in their meeting of 12 June 2015 the CPR Committee agreeing changes to the jurisdictional service gateways, there is no provision within the SI for those changes to be included in October. Whether a further SI will be forthcoming in August/September or whether the changes will be implemented in April 2016 remain to be seen.

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