The President of the High Court David Barniville (pictured) has issued a notice on the management of proceedings for the Easter term, which starts today (17 April).
The notice includes important changes in relation to common-law motions, and a return to physical hearings for the probate list, which has been dealt with remotely for several months.
There are also changes aimed at streamlining the procedures for dealing with commercial-planning and environmental cases, outlined in a recent practice direction.
The High Court President said that this list would be renamed as the ‘Planning and Environmental Court’ in the coming months, when additional judges approved by the Government had been appointed.
The notice includes two important changes in how the lists for common-law motions are dealt with.
With effect from today, motion papers for all motions to be heard in these lists must be lodged in advance of the hearing of the relevant list.
Previously, it was only necessary for motion papers to be lodged in advance for motions that were to be heard by way of a remote or hybrid hearing where the moving party was not intending to attend in person in court.
Practitioners and litigants are being urged to consult the Legal Diary for precise details on the new requirement.
Pressure on non-jury list
The second change, which is aimed at relieving “significant pressure” on the non-jury list, means that motions that are likely to take up more than 15 minutes, but less than 30 minutes, may be heard after the rest of the list is completed. This will subject to the discretion of the judge.
Previously, a motion that was likely to take more than 15 minutes was transferred to the non-jury list for a hearing date.
The High Court President has also assigned judges in charge for the High Court lists during the Easter term.