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CPR, rules 1.1-1.4
Rule 1.1 - The Overriding Objective
These Rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.
Dealing with a case justly and at proportionate cost includes, so far as is practicable---
ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;
dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate---
to the amount of money involved;
to the importance of the case;
to the complexity of the issues; and
to the financial position of each party;
ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly;
allotting to it an appropriate share of the court's resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases; and
enforcing compliance with rules, practice directions and orders.
Rule 1.2 - Application by the court of the Overriding Objective
The court must seek to give effect to the overriding objective when it---
exercises any power given to it by the Rules; or
interprets any rule,
subject to rules 76.2, 79.2, 80.2, 82.2 and 88.2.
Rule 1.3 - Duty of the Parties
The parties are required to help the court to further the overriding objective.
Rule 1.4 - Court's duty to manage cases
The court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases.
ACTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT includes---
encouraging the parties to co-operate with each other in the conduct of the proceedings;
identifying the issues at an early stage;
deciding promptly which issues need full investigation and trial and accordingly disposing summarily of the others;
deciding the order in which issues are to be resolved;
encouraging the parties to use an alternative dispute resolution(GL) procedure if the court considers that appropriate and facilitating the use of such procedure;
helping the parties to settle the whole or part of the case;
fixing timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case;
considering whether the likely benefits of taking a particular step justify the cost of taking it;
dealing with as many aspects of the case as it can on the same occasion;
dealing with the case without the parties needing to attend at court; (k)
making use of technology; and giving directions to ensure that the trial of a case proceeds quickly and efficiently.
Practice Direction (Pre-Action Conduct)
1. Pre-action protocols: explain conduct & steps the court would normally expect parties to take before commencing proceedings for particular types of civil claims. They are approved by the Master of the Rolls and annexed to CPR.
2. This Practice Direction applies to disputes where no pre-action protocol applies.
Objectives of pre-action conduct and protocols
3. Before commencing proceedings, the court will expect the parties to have exchanged sufficient information to---
(a) understand each other's position;
(b) make decisions about how to proceed;
(c) try to settle the issues without proceedings;
(d) consider a form of ADR to assist with settlement;
(e) support the efficient management of those proceedings; and
(f) reduce the costs of resolving the dispute.
4. A Pre-Action Protocol/this PD must not be used by a party as a tactical device to secure an unfair advantage over another party. Only reasonable and proportionate steps should be taken by the parties to identify, narrow and resolve the legal, factual or expert issues.
5. The costs incurred in complying with a pre-action protocol/this PD: should be proportionate; where parties incur disproportionate costs in complying ? those costs will not be recoverable.
Steps before issuing a claim at court
6. Where there is a relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should comply; where no relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should: exchange correspondence and information to comply with the objectives in paragraph 3, bearing in mind that compliance should be proportionate. The steps will usually include---
(a) C writing to D with concise details of the claim. The letter should include : (1) the basis on which the claim is made, (2) a summary of the facts, (3) what C wants from the D, and (4) if money, how the amount is calculated;
(b) REPLY: the D responding within a reasonable time : 14 days in a straightforward case and no more than 3 months in a very complex one.
i. The reply should include confirmation as to whether the claim is accepted and, if it is not accepted, the reasons why, together with an explanation as to which facts and parts of the claim are disputed and whether D is making a counterclaim as well as providing details of any counterclaim; and
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