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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

26 SEP 2006

Not a Bundle of Fun: the President's Direction on Court Bundles

Julien Foster, Barrister, Goldsmith Chambers. A new President's Direction (PD) in relation to court bundles came into force on 2 October 2006. It replaces the existing President's Practice Direction dated 25 March 2000.The purpose of the article is to set out the main provisions of the PD and how it differs from the previous Practice Direction. However, the article is no substitute for reading the detailed provisions of the PD itself.

The PD is over twice as long as the previous Practice Direction. It is far more detailed in its provision. While it has the advantage of clarifying certain ambiguities that existed in the previous Practice Direction and may well improve the quality of case presentation in court, it places a further significant administrative burden on solicitors and also on the Bar. Without wishing to make practitioners unduly anxious, the author has no doubt that an example will very swiftly be made of a practitioner's non-compliance with the PD in the form of a well-publicised dressing down by a High Court judge. Exactly this happened days after the last Practice Direction came into force, when Wall J (as he then was) launched into and made wasted costs orders against some poor unfortunate who had failed to provide preliminary documents.

The article is divided into sections as follows: differences between the old Practice Direction and the PD; additional brand-new provisions in the PD; frequently asked questions; and recommendations to practitioners. See November [2006] Fam Law for the full article. See November [2006] Fam Law for the full article.

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