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Civil litigation brief

Gordon Exall looks at the courts’ approach to procedural default and the importance of CPR rule 3.9.

28 February 2003

Sooner or later, everyone involved in litigation has a close interest in how the court is going to deal with default. It could be to extract a client (or yourself) from (usually self-imposed) problems or an attempt to ensure your opponent’s problem remains a permanent one. As we approach the third anniversary of the CPR coming into force, it is worth taking a detailed look at the principles and cases you will have to turn to. Start at CPR 3.9 The starting point for an application (see box, below right). All the evidence marshalled in support, or opposition, to any application in relation to default must be made with these criteria clearly in mind. Bansal v Cheema Your next step has to be to obtain a transcript of Bansal v Cheema [2001] CP Rep 6; (2000) WL 191186 (CA 2 March 2000). The claimant had been late in exchanging witness statements. The circuit judge refused an application to extend time and struck out the claim on the basis that, i...

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