Adjourning interim hearings
Adjourning interim hearings

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Adjourning interim hearings
  • Power to adjourn an interim hearing
  • What factors will a court take into account on an application to adjourn an interim hearing?
  • Adjournment on the basis of inability to attend the hearing
  • Adjournment on the grounds of ill-health
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Adjournment due to ill health of a party
  • Adjournment due to ill health of counsel
  • Making an application to adjourn
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • More...

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

Power to adjourn an interim hearing

The court has power to adjourn a hearing under CPR 3.1(2)(b). Note that ‘hearing’ is defined in the CPR as ‘the making of any interim or final decision by a judge…’ so CPR 3.1(2)(b) will apply to interim hearings and the trial.

For information on adjourning trial, see Practice Note: Adjourning trial.

What factors will a court take into account on an application to adjourn an interim hearing?

No guidance is given in CPR 3.1(2)(b) as to how the power to adjourn should be exercised. It is therefore governed by the overriding objective under CPR 1.1. As noted by the court in Decker v Hopcraft at para [21]: ’[t]he decision whether to adjourn a hearing, and the decision whether to proceed with a hearing in the absence of a party, are both case management decisions. The court is required to exercise a discretion, in accordance with the overriding objective, in the light of the particular circumstances of the individual case’.

As will be seen, the approach the court takes will depend to some extent on the reason put forward for needing an adjournment. However, there are

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