Courts’ power to manage factual evidence
Courts’ power to manage factual evidence

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

  • Courts’ power to manage factual evidence
  • Case management of evidence—Rules 32.1 and 32.2(3)
  • Proposing witnesses needed for trial
  • Courts’ approach to limiting witness evidence
  • Courts’ power to make an order for cross-examination CPR 32.7
  • Court specific guidance

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.

In this Practice Note, we address the courts’ power to manage evidence under CPR 32.1 and, in relation to witness evidence specifically, under CPR 32.2(3). We also look at points to consider when proposing factual witnesses and the courts’ approach to case managing witness evidence.

Case management of evidence—Rules 32.1 and 32.2(3)

Under CPR 32.1, the court can:

  1. control the evidence by giving directions as to:

    1. the issues on which it requires evidence

    2. the nature of the evidence which it requires to decide those issues, and

    3. the way in which the evidence is to be placed before the court

  2. exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible

  3. limit cross-examination

Further, and in relation to factual evidence specifically, the court can reduce the volume of irrelevant or inadmissible material put forward in civil proceedings by giving directions under CPR 32.2(3):

  1. identifying or limiting the issues to be addressed by factual witnesses

  2. identifying the witnesses who may be called or whose evidence may be read

  3. limiting the length or format of witness statements

This provision in particular, introduced under the Jackson Reforms, has had a significant effect