Case Management

Courts are given numerous powers in order to effectively manage proceedings. In exercising their powers the Courts must abide by the overriding objective of the CPR. This is found in part 1.

This states:

1) These Rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.

(2) Dealing with a case justly and at proportionate cost includes, so far as is practicable –

(a) ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing and can participate fully in proceedings, and that parties and witnesses can give their best evidence;

(b) saving expense;

(c) dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate –

(i) to the amount of money involved;

(ii) to the importance of the case;

(iii) to the complexity of the issues; and

(iv) to the financial position of each party;

(d) ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly;

(e) allotting to it an appropriate share of the court’s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases; and

(f) enforcing compliance with rules, practice directions and orders.

In practice this means that the Court will be guided by the need to adjudicate cases efficiently as fairly as possible. This could mean any number of case management steps being taken. The Court may use its management powers to encourage parties to settle. It might use its powers to attempt to narrow the issues it needs to consider. The Court will be active in enforcing the overriding objective and parties who seek to unnecessarily add to or overcomplicate the work of the Court can expect sanctions.