Specific disclosure—the courts' approach

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

  • Specific disclosure—the courts' approach
  • Principles applied by the court on a specific disclosure application
  • Specific disclosure in relation to credibility of a witness
  • Confidentiality
  • Enhanced disclosure (train of enquiry documents)
  • Specific inspection of documents referred to in statements of case, witness statements, etc
  • Compliance with an order for specific disclosure and/or specific inspection
  • Early specific disclosure applications in procurement cases
  • Request for further information
  • Practical tips on specific disclosure
  • More...

Specific disclosure—the courts' approach

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 Court specific guidance below.

The Practice Note looks at the courts’ approach to specific disclosure under CPR 31.12 and should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes:

  1. Specific disclosure—which provides guidance on what specific disclosure and specific inspection are and the circumstances in which they might be used, and

  2. Specific disclosure—the application—which provides guidance on making an application for specific disclosure or specific inspection under CPR 31.12, why an application may be sought and the timing

Principles applied by the court on a specific disclosure application

The court will only consider exercising its discretion to grant specific disclosure, once satisfied that the documents sought:

  1. are, or have been, in the parties' control, and

  2. are relevant to the issues pleaded in the proceedings

This approach was set out in Glenn v Watson, where an order for specific disclosure was made.

In exercising its discretion, the court will take into account all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, the overriding objective (CPR PD 31A, para 5.4). There is no further guidance on this in the CPR. However, in practice, the court is likely to take into account:

  1. whether

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