News In Focus
Rules Rewrite Project moves into new phase
A new phase is about to begin of the Scottish Civil Justice Council's Rules Rewrite Project.
Following various discussion papers considered at stage 1, a report published in May this year, The New Civil Procedure Rules, identified six work streams that could be taken forward in order to produce a “core narrative” – draft rules covering all the typical steps that an ordinary action might go through in either the Court of Session or the sheriff court.
Four of these will be developed in the coming months under separate working groups:
- Commencement and initial case management: chaired by Lord Menzies, this will consider the form of commencing writ and the form of defences, the case management questionnaire, pleadings, service of the commencing writ, administrative consideration of the writ by the clerk, caveats, vexatious litigants, preliminary pleas, the form of process, counterclaims and initial case management decisions.
- Applications and motions: the Council’s ICT Committee will comprise a working group looking at motions and minutes, interlocutors, transfer and remit of actions, the involvement of third parties (including sist and transference, third party notice, etc), and the recovery of evidence, all including policy considerations and not just from an IT perspective.
- Decrees, extracts and enforcement: chaired by Lord Arthurson, this will look at interim diligence and diligence, procedure in undefended cases, summary decree, decrees and extracts, reponing, proceedings for breach of court orders (e.g. interdict), and decisions and reasons.
- Evidence, proof and hearings: chaired by the Lord President, the fourth group will work on the mode of proof, the rules of evidence, the judge’s evidence and information management powers, hearings and the judge’s hearing management powers, expert witnesses, documents, vulnerable witnesses, and notices to admit and non-admission.
Each working group will comprise a mix of judicial, practitioner and other members.