(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 30 September 2016)
Practice and procedure – Service – Litigants in person – Late service of documents at court
During proceedings regarding child abduction legal documents including counsel’s position statement and law reports extending to over 100 pages were handed over at the door of the court to a non-English speaking litigant in person. Although the position statement was useful to the court time had been wasted prior to the hearing while the mother looked through the documents with the assistance of the court interpreter.Peter Jackson J reiterated the obligations under PD 27A in relation to court bundles and highlighted the minimum service requirements set out in para 6. In particular he noted that the requirements should be adapted in individual cases to protect the rights of litigants in person and to prevent the intrinsic unfairness that might arise from late service.