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Evidence At Trial Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes

Updates Available  

A more recent version of these Evidence At Trial notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Witnesses, Evidence, Trial &
Judgment Listing for Trial & Pre-Trial Reviews ("PTR")

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A trial date can be listed by:

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Fixed trial date;

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Fixed trial window;

Small Claims Track

Fast Track

Multi-Track

Standard Directions and Hearing listed when allocated;

Trials must be heard within 30 weeks of allocation;

Must be heard as soon as practicable (r29.2(2)).

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In all cases, the Pre-Trial checklist will be sent to parties for completion by a specified date, usually within 2 weeks in FT, or a set date in MTC. Usually, covers:

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Compliance with Directions

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How many witnesses and dates to be avoided, special arrangements, interpreter;

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Experts, how many, discussion between already, joint statement, oral evidence etc.

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Legal representatives, and professional engagements.

There is a power to adjourn hearings under r3.1(2)(b) for unavailability of witnesses etc. But if adjournment is failure to prepare for trial, court will usually refuse to adjourn. This is emphasised by PD28(5.4) (fast track) and PD29(7.4) (multi-track) requiring exceptional circumstances before the court will vacate a trial date for failure to comply with directions.

At Trial Court will act in accordance with trial timetable, created in consultation with parties (r39.4). Trial bundles must be filed not more than 7 days, and not less than 3 days before start of trial per r39.5. (this means clear days, so exclude start and end date!) A company may be represented at trial by an employee if that is authorised by company and court gives its permission per r39.6. Must send the full name of company, registered number, position held by the representative, and the written authority from MD, or Board Resolution pr PD39A(5.2). Court Advocates?

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AG may appoint Advocate to the Court ("amicus curae" briefs, formerly) where there is a danger of an important and difficult point of law being decided without the court hearing relevant argument. The Court may appoint one in these cases. They represent no one but assist the Court. This is not a reason to give D representation because he refuses it.

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The following are not cases where Advocates to the Court should be appointed:

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Point of law may affect Government Dept, and not represented, but court believes Dept may wish to be represented;

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AG believes necessary for CA to intervene as a party as capacity as Guardian to the Public Interest;

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Appropirate to Litigant in Person to have pro bono assistance.

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In criminal trial, and D is unrepresented, and AtC would be duplicating P's duty to "Assist court on all matters of law applicable to the case"

In these cases, Court should either invite LiP to seek legal advice and adjourn, or invite AG to contact Government Department to be represented. In final case, Prosecutor's special duty is akin to Advocate to Court, so avoids duplicity. Or could grant, in the second case, AG permission to intervene.

Trial Location

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Where case is proceeding, but may be transferred for court availability.

Non-Attendance

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r39.3 - Trial may either:

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Proceed in absence;

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Claim or Defence may be struck out, or any counterclaim/Defence to CC.

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r39.3(2) - Court has discretion to restore any part of proceedings that are struck out for non-attendance. It may set aside any judgment entered in such circumstances. (r39.3(3)).

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Applications must be supported by evidence.

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r39.3(5) - Orders to restore, or set aside judgment, may be granted only if Applicant:

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Acted promptly on discovering strike out/judgment; and

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Good Excuse for not attending (no fixed list, but unaware of hearing date is unlikely to be sufficient as a mere assertion. and

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Has reasonable prospects of success at a reconvened trial.

There is no residual discretion f one of the factors are missing (Barclays v Ellis).

Judge

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DJs deal with all SCT and FT cases so their trial jurisdiction is

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