Disclosure: specific disclosure
Disclosure: specific disclosure

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

  • Disclosure: specific disclosure
  • What is specific disclosure?
  • Why apply for specific disclosure?
  • Specific disclosure and case management tracks

This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes:

  1. Disclosure—the application for specific disclosure

  2. Specific disclosure—the courts' approach

What is specific disclosure?

The overriding objective of the CPR is to enable the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost. Parties are required to help the court achieve this (CPR 1.1–1.3).

In the disclosure process, this generally means giving the other side access to documents which may assist their case.

Where the disclosure ordered or provided is considered to be 'inadequate', the court has the discretion to order what is known as specific disclosure and/or specific inspection under CPR 31.12. This is disclosure and/or inspection of specified documents and/or classes of documents.

CPR 31.12(2) provides that an order for specific disclosure is one ordering a party to do one or more of the following:

  1. disclose documents or classes of documents specified in the order

  2. carry out a search to the extent stated in the order

  3. disclose any documents located as a result of that search

CPR PD 31A, para 5.5 provides that, 'in an appropriate case', an order for specific disclosure may direct a party to:

  1. carry out a search for documents which it is reasonable to suppose may contain information which may:

    1. enable the party applying for disclosure either to advance his own case or to damage that of