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No relief in sight

Chris Hoyer Millar discusses changes to the relief from sanctions provisions and the Court of Appeals clear message that it will not tolerate parties who do not play by the rules

10 April 2013

It's a situation that will be familiar to many practitioners. You've spent months preparing your case, working around the clock to ensure you comply with the court's directions - only to find your opponents have taken a rather more relaxed approach. Despite your protests, the court seems reluctant to penalise the other side in any meaningful way, whether those failures are due to incompetence or wilful disregard for the court. Why should a client who has complied with every instruction issued by the court (and incurred costs in so doing) suffer while their opponent idles?

This sense of frustration is, it seems, shared by the judiciary and is at the heart of several of the key reforms to the Civil Procedure Rules which came into force on 1 April 2013.

Judicial perspective

Judges have spoken out in protest against delays in litigation in a series of high-profile cases, most recently at the case management conference of R (on the A...

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