Skeleton arguments

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

  • Skeleton arguments
  • What are skeleton arguments and when are they required?
  • Drafting skeleton arguments
  • Structure and content
  • Length
  • Bundles
  • Authorities
  • CE-File electronic working
  • Court specific guidance

Skeleton arguments

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.

Note: this Practice Note does not deal with the requirements for skeleton arguments in appeals. For information on this, see Practice Note: Skeleton Arguments in an appeal—general provisions.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The guidance detailing normal practice set out in this Practice Note may be affected by measures concerning process and procedure in the civil courts that have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution. For detailed guidance on the use of audio and video-conferencing for hearings during the coronavirus pandemic, see Practice Note: Remote attendance at court—video-conferencing and telephone hearings—Use of audio and video-conferencing for hearings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Also see: LNB News 26/05/2020 51—Coronavirus (COVID-19)—HMCTS publishes updated operational summary for week commencing 25 May for information on uploading documents for hearings.

What are skeleton arguments and when are they required?

A skeleton argument is a written document provided to the court in advance of a hearing which summarises the issues to be addressed (factual and legal), the main arguments that will be put forward in relation to each of the issues

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