Court of Appeal: revised hear-by dates for cases filed after 31 July 2015

31 julyRevised hear-by dates are to apply to all cases filed in the Court of Appeal after 31 July 2015.

These dates are based on the type of case under appeal and the manner in which permission to appeal (PTA) was granted. They reflect the increased volume of permission to appeal applications and appeal hearings which has not been matched by a corresponding increase in Court of Appeal judicial resources and are deemed 'necessary for the efficient management of the work of the court' and to 'ensure cases are heard in as timely as manner as possible'.

The revised hear-by dates are set out in Annex 1 to the Practice Guidance issued on 7 July 2015 by Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, and which is to come into effect on 1 August 2015.

Practice Guidance: Court Of Appeal Hear-By Dates

The revised hear-by dates being introduced to claims filed after 31 July 2015 are to reflect the significant increase in permission to appeal applications and (albeit smaller--3%) increase in appeal hearings which have not been matched with the same level of increase in Court of Appeal judicial resources.

The revised hear-by dates, intended to be more realistic and to 'provide litigants and practitioners with a reliable timescale within which different classes of appeal will be heard', depend on the type of appeal and the manner in which permission to appeal ('PTA') was obtained (ie whether by the lower court or the Court of Appeal and, in the case of the Court of Appeal granting PTA, whether this was on the papers or at an oral renewal hearing).

The hear-by dates range from two months (in the case of a child case or planning appeal where PTA was granted by the lower court) to 19 months (in the case of final orders, other tribunals and ancillary relief in divorce where PTA was granted by the Court of Appeal at an oral hearing).

The primary purpose of these revised hear-by dates is for the 'efficient management of the work of the court' and to 'ensure cases are heard in as timely as manner as possible', for example, the court will:

  • 'continue to make sure that ... all business is conducted as swiftly as possible'--it will 'strive to ensure that appeals are generally heard before the relevant hear-by date'
  • 'continue to make sure that urgent matters are expedited'--applications for an expedited hearing will continue to be determined by a single Lord or Lady Justice or a Master or Deputy Master per Unilever.
  • be able to rank and prioritise how quickly cases should be dealt with and heard--this is reflected by the fact that the type of appeal is one of the two determinative factors in the case's hear-by date.

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