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47th Update to the Civil Procedure Rules

Date:26 AUG 2008

The 47th update to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) is due to come into force fully on 1 October 2008.

Of particular note to family lawyers is the amendment of Part 52 to enable permission to appeal applications for family proceedings in the Court of Appeal which are 'totally without merit' to be dealt with on the papers alone.

The amendments are previewed on the 'What's New' page on the CPR website, and will be inserted into the main text when they come into force on 1 October 2008.

The 47th Update to the CPR introduces changes in a large number of areas. Additional updates that may also be of interest to family lawyers are:

Part 6 is revised with the exception of Service out of the jurisdiction. The new rules are supplemented by practice directions A and B. There are a number changes to other parts and practice directions consequent on these changes.

Parts 43-47 and accompanying practice directions are amended to enable costs orders in civil cases where the successful party was represented (whether wholly or partly) by a lawyer(s) working free of charge (pro bono). Such costs orders will be directed to a charity prescribed by order made by the Lord Chancellor to those who provide, organise or facilitate the provision of free legal advice and assistance. Parts 3, 36 and 38 are also amended as a consequence of these changes.

Part 78 and accompanying practice direction are inserted to provide procedures to deal with European Order for Payment (which allow the recovery of uncontested money claims) and for European Small Claims Procedure (which simplifies cross-border small claims litigation in civil and commercial matters). Parts 7, 8, and 74 are amended as a consequence.

PD40E and PD52 are revised to reflect the current practice of electronic distribution of judgments before handing down.

PD 51 supplementing Parts 26 and sets out an Automatic Orders Pilot Scheme to be carried out for one year in five courts to assess the effect of amending rules to allow certain orders to be made administratively.