HC 97

Written Submissions and Issue Papers

Practice Direction HC97
Written Submissions and Issue Papers


I, Mary Irvine, President of the High Court, hereby issue the following Practice Direction in accordance with section 11(12) of the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.

1.         This Practice Direction shall apply to all civil proceedings in respect of which written submissions are provided for in the Rules of the Superior Courts or relevant practice direction, including cases in the Commercial Planning and SID list but not including any other proceedings before the Commercial Court to which HC93 applies.

2.         This Practice Direction shall come into force on 5th October, 2020, and revokes Practice Direction HC68 of September 2016 save insofar as that Practice Direction relates to the proceedings before the Commercial Court to which Practice Direction H93 applies.

3.         Format and content of written submissions

(a)        All written submissions should carry the title and record number of the case and indicate on whose behalf they are presented. Submissions should be dated and where settled by counsel, counsels’ names should appear at the foot thereof.

(b)       Submissions should be logically arranged with appropriate headings and should be a concise summary of the submissions to be developed in oral argument. They must not contain irrelevant, immaterial or scandalous matter. They should refer to all relevant authorities to be relied upon.

(c)        Submissions should be presented in the following format:

(i)        A4 size page printed on one side;
(ii)       Font size 12, Times New Roman or similar;
(iii)      1.5 line spacing;
(iv)      Margins of 3.25cm at each side and 2.5cm at top and bottom;
(v)       Save with leave of the Court, submissions should contain no more than 5,000 words in total (the word count to be noted on the submissions document).
(vi)      There should be no footnotes.

(d)       Submissions should follow the following template:

(i)        Introduction (which should not exceed two pages) summarising the factual background,
(ii)       The principal issues in the case,
(iii)      The submissions pertinent to those issues,
(iv)      Conclusions and an indication of the orders to be sought.

(e)        Submissions should identify the relevant legal principles relevant to the case as pleaded and/or the evidence to be adduced. They should be focused on those matters and generalised submissions are not permitted.

4.         Chronology of Relevant Facts and of Procedural History

The plaintiff/applicant should include a full chronology of all relevant facts and of the procedural history of the proceedings (including filing dates of key pleadings) as an appendix to the submissions. The defendant/ respondent/ notice party should indicate in its submissions if the chronology is agreed. Where it is not agreed, the defendant/ respondent/ notice party should produce his or her full chronology identifying clearly the points of difference, preferably in bold. The chronology need not be included in the word count, but it must not be used to circumvent the word count.

5.         Books of Authorities

(a)        The Court has its own Book of Authorities for the following applications:

(i)         applications to dismiss for want of prosecution and/or delay and/or abuse of process;
(ii)        applications for discovery;
(iii)       applications to compel replies to particulars;
(iv)       applications for liberty to enter final judgment;
(v)        applications for security for costs;
(vi)       applications for a stay;
(vii)      applications to extend time to appeal;
(viii)    applications to remove a lis pendens;
(ix)      applications for the appointment of a receiver;
(x)       applications for interim and interlocutory injunctions;
(xi)      applications for costs and
(xii)     such other matters/applications as may be listed from time to time on the Court’s website

(b)       A list of the authorities contained in the Court’s own Book of Authorities will be available on the Court’s website as of 18th September, 2020 and will be kept updated.

(c)        Books of Authorities in the above-mentioned applications should only include authorities not identified in the Court’s own book and then only if such authorities are of particular relevance to the application. Where an authority or statutory provision is being relied on which is not included in the Court’s Book of Authorities, the relevant section should be highlighted in advance in the Book of Authorities submitted.

(d)       Books of authorities should, unless otherwise ordered, be presented in the following format and sequence:

(i)        Any relevant provisions from the Constitution,
(ii)       Any relevant statutory provision or regulation,
(iii)      Any relevant rule of court
(iv)      Irish authorities,
(v)       EU authorities,
(vi)      International authorities,
(vii)     Other materials including extracts from text books or journals.

(e)        Where a case has been reported in the official reports, such report is the only one which should be included in the Book of Authorities.

(f)        Only authorities which will be referred to in oral argument are to be included.

(g)       Save with leave of the Court, no Book of Authorities should include more than 8 cases.

(h)       It is the responsibility of the parties to agree a Joint Book of Authorities.  No later than the date for delivery of the plaintiff/appellant’s written submissions, such party should deliver to the defendant/respondent and any other parties to the proceedings a list of the authorities to be relied on. No later than the date for the delivery of replying submissions, the defendant/respondent and any other party shall deliver to the plaintiff/applicant a list of authorities to be relied on by them.

6.         Issue Papers

(a)        Save where there are one or two clear issues in an application or action (e.g. an application to dismiss for want of prosecution/delay) the parties should agree an issue paper which states concisely the issues to be determined.

(b)       Where there is no, or only partial agreement as to the issues, each party should submit an issue paper setting out concisely what they consider the issues to be. Issue papers are to contain no more than 1,000 words.

7.         Filing of Written Submissions and Issue Papers

(a)        An electronic copy of written submissions and issue papers shall be sent by email in Word document format, addressed to highcourtsubmissions@courts.ie (in addition to the hard copy) within the time fixed for physical delivery of such documents. The title of the email enclosing submissions should appear in the following format: Title and Record Number (with spaces between each word or figures, e.g. year (space) number (space) JR), date of hearing and the party on whose behalf the submissions are being lodged.

(b)       Practitioners should clear formatting as much as possible in Word.  Bold or underlining should be used rather than word "headings", as much as possible. 

8.         Consequences of non-compliance

When the court is considering making any order for costs in proceedings to which this practice direction relates, it will be for a party who has delivered a submission in breach of a deadline set by a relevant Practice Direction or a direction of the court, to show why the costs of the said submission should not be disallowed.

Mary Irvine
President of the High Court
11th September, 2020

Court Book of Authorities for HC97 Submissions and Issue Papers (PDF)

High court