Written Submissions in Civil Proceedings can be accessed by the Public*
On 13 November the President of the High Court issued a Practice Direction HC101. This Direction came into effect on 22 February last. This provides that a member of the public can ask to get access to written submissions. There are some conditions. The access to the written submissions put in by the Solicitors in Civil Proceedings on behalf of either party can be made available once an Order has been made to that effect by a Court. That Order is not made prior to the Court giving a written Judgement.
No Orders will be made where the case is being heard in camera or where there are reporting restrictions.
This is going to be of great assistance to those interested in looking at the background of a decision. It is going to be particularly relevant for those researching issues around the law where they will have the full legal submissions.
In other civil cases, for example accident claims again equally written submissions on any legal issues will be useful.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
*In contentious cases a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.