Changes to CPR 81 – Committal Proceedings

From 1st October 2020, an entirely new CPR 81 will come into force affecting committal proceedings.

The aim of this change is to streamline and consolidate the committal process going forward and allow the process to be more accessible.

What is changing?

Reference to the parties in any committal proceedings will be referred to as ‘Claimant and Defendant,’ as opposed to the current ‘Applicant’ and ‘Respondent.’

The new CPR 81 reduces the number of rules to comply with from 38 down to just 10, and further removes two Practice Directions and a Practice Guidance, significantly condensing and consolidating the process going forward.

There are new rules about how a committal application should be made (CPR 81.3) with a new rule for the requirements for an application and the contents needed (CPR 81.4), creating a uniform procedure for committal proceedings.

The rules on service are additionally made clear under new CPR 81.5 with specific provisions to dispense with personal service when a legal representative is on the record.

The new CPR 81 also provides further clear guidance to the Court as to how they can deal with committal hearings, for example in relation to the Courts having a clear power to issue a bench warrant to ensure the attendance of a Defendant (CPR 81.7).

What is staying the same?

A committal application must be supported by affidavit evidence and personal service is still required.

Are the changes a good thing?

From a practitioner’s point of view, access and use of the committal procedure should be easier once the new rules are in force.

What does this mean for your organisation?

With less procedural hoops to jump through, the whole committal process should be quicker and more efficient.

The new rules will be incorporated seamlessly into the way MSB works on your behalf and so the changes should allow for a better and clearer approach to committal proceedings.

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