Witness summons

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

  • Witness summons
  • What is a witness summons?
  • Why use a witness summons?
  • Is the court's permission required to issue a witness summons?
  • Where the court's permission is not required
  • Overseas witnesses
  • Making an application to the court to issue a witness summons
  • Witness summons—forms
  • Serving a witness summons
  • Court service
  • More...

Witness summons

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 in the section: Court specific guidance below.

Where a party to proceedings wishes to compel a witness to attend court or produce documents to the court, they may consider using a witness summons. This Practice Note provides guidance on what a witness summons is, the circumstances in which you may use one, whether the court’s permission is required and how to make an application for a witness summons. It explains how to serve the witness summons, together with what to do if a witness does not comply with a summons, the concept of conduct money and paying summoned witnesses. This Practice Note also considers the differences between non-party disclosure orders under Rule 31.17 and witness summons.

What is a witness summons?

A witness summons is a document issued by the court under CPR 34.2 compelling a witness to:

  1. attend court to give evidence on the date fixed for a hearing or a court directed date (CPR 34.2(1)(a) and CPR PD 34A, para 1.1), or

  2. produce documents to the court either:

    1. on the date fixed for the hearing (CPR 34.2(4)(a)), or

    2. on such date as the court may direct

Related documents:

Popular documents