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Many people may not be aware that before you commence legal proceedings, there are some pre-litigation compliance certifications that are required by the Court. Why is this the case? The purpose of these procedures, which are enshrined in the Civil Procedure Act 2010, is to enable Courts to facilitate the just, efficient, timely and cost-effective resolution of the real issues in dispute. Although a failure to comply with the certification requirements will not prevent proceedings being commenced, this failure to comply with the certification requirements may be taken into account by the Court in making orders as to costs or otherwise.
What is required:
The pre-litigation requirements include:
- Parties personally certifying their understanding of the overarching obligations and their paramount duties to the Court; and
- Legal practitioners acting for parties and unrepresented litigants certifying that their clients’ allegations, denials and non-admissions have a proper basis.
Litigants should be put on notice, from the earliest possible stage, of their own paramount duty and overarching obligations in Court proceedings. This, in turn, will govern how parties, legal representatives and other participants in a civil proceeding conduct themselves, including the way they formulate their claims, how they interact with the opposing party, the way they allocate their resources and the way they frame the issues in dispute.
It is important that litigants understand these obligations. If there is non-compliance with the obligations, there are serious consequences at stake such as the payment of additional costs or having the claim or defence struck out by the Court.
If you are considering commencing proceedings or about to commence legal proceedings but require legal advice as to your obligations, contact Steven Dangerfield, Angela Catanzariti or Lynda Lim of Dangerfield Exley Lawyers for a frank discussion on your legal rights.
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