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Over the past few months there has been a game changing swing in the way that courts treat applications for relief from sanction for failing to comply with the rules, practice directions and orders of the court. This will not only touch upon those involved in insolvency litigation and may well be reflected in any application to the court to extend time limits contained within the Insolvency Act 1986. Further the general hardening of attitudes may well be reflected in applications such as retrospective sanction.
In Mitchell the question that the Court of Appeal had to decide was how strictly should the courts enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders in the light of the changes made to CPR r 3.9? The traditional approach of the civil courts on the whole was to excuse non-compliance if any prejudice caused to the other party could be remedied (usually by an appropriate order for costs). The Woolf reforms attempted to encourage the courts to adopt a less indulgent approach. In his Review of Civil Litigation Costs, Jackson LJ concluded that a still tougher and less forgiving approach was required. His recommendations were subsequently incorporated into the CPR.
To read the full article, click here Mitchell.pdf
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