Non-attendance by the parties at trial
Non-attendance by the parties at trial

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

  • Non-attendance by the parties at trial
  • What can I do if I am unable to attend trial?
  • When a party is deemed to be present?
  • What happens when a party is not present?
  • Proceeding without a claimant
  • Proceeding without a defendant
  • No parties attend court
  • Proceeding without a litigant in person
  • Applying to set aside orders or judgments made following non-attendance at trial
  • What is a ‘trial’?
  • More...

For guidance on non-attendance by a party at an interim hearing, see Practice Note: Application hearings—Non-attendance by a party.

What can I do if I am unable to attend trial?

Note that a party will be deemed to be present at trial if their legal representative attends court—see: When a party is deemed to be present?

Where a party is not able to be physically present at trial, they may be able to attend by video link or telephone. For more information, see Practice Note: Remote hearings in civil proceedings via video-conferencing and telephone.

Where the inability to attend necessitates an adjournment of the trial, an application for an adjournment can be made. For more information, see Practice Note: Adjourning trial.

Where a party is unable to attend trial, the court may dispense with that party’s attendance, as the court did in Wolverhampton City Council v Persons Unknown, although note that this was in the context of a hearing to review an injunction and as a consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the restrictions on movement in place at the time as introduced by the government. For news and other resources to assist dispute resolution practitioners working in the civil courts to understand and stay ahead of fast-moving changes necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution.

When a party is deemed to

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