Disclosure reform now piloted
From 1st January 2019, the proposals for disclosure reform shall be piloted in the Business and Property Courts that are based throughout the UK.
The pilot is set to last two years, ending in 2021, and is based upon reform proposals initially published in 2017, which since then have be going through ongoing changes which are predominantly based upon feedback received from the reforms since their initial publication.
One of the central purposes for the need for reform is based upon the processes from paper to electronic disclosure. Being so, the reforms set out the reiteration that depending upon the type of disclosure, the disclosure should be handled in a way most relevant to that type.
Furthermore, within the reforms, several duties of the parties and the lawyers have been set out as well. For instance, there is notably a ‘duty to cooperate’, in relation to cooperation between lawyers and parties, as well as with assisting the court over disclosure generally.
Finally, there shall also be notable differences between ‘standard’ and ‘basic’ disclosure. For instance, with the ‘standard’ disclosure test that were introduced, the reforms argue that this has ultimately not reduced the volume or cost of disclosure as initially aimed for. In relation to ‘basic’ disclosure, the reforms stress that there shall now be a ‘basic disclosure’ of key documents that are relied upon, so as to give further clarification to the court.
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