The arrangements for the listing and hearing of cases and applications in the different High Court Lists, as outlined in the President’s Notices of 30th September, 2022 and 11th January, 2023, which have worked well, will continue in place until further notice, subject to the following important changes and to any necessary changes and alterations determined by the judge in charge of the relevant list, in consultation with the President of the High Court.
The following important changes should be noted:
- Common Law Motion Lists
There are two important changes in respect of the Common Law Motion Lists.
- With effect from 17th April, 2023, motion papers for all motions to be heard in the Common Law Motion 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 in the Common Law Motion Lists which 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. However, it will now be necessary for the motion papers to be lodged in advance for all motions listed in the Common Law Motion Lists.
The Legal Diary will be amended to reflect this important change. Practitioners and litigants in person should consult the Legal Diary for the precise details of this new requirement.
In summary, the new requirement is that a paginated and indexed booklet of motion papers in respect of all motions in the Common Law Motion Lists must be lodged in the List Room (which is beside the Central Office) by no later than 4:30pm on the Thursday preceding the Monday on which the motion is listed. That requirement applies to motions to be heard in person, remotely and on a hybrid basis. Failure to do so in the case of a motion will lead to that motion being adjourned.
It will be necessary to email the List Room at email@example.com to make an appointment to lodge the motion papers. When a motion has been dealt with by the making of an order or where it has been adjourned, the papers must be collected from the List Room by 12pm on the Wednesday of that week with arrangements for collection being made by email sent to the same email address.
- The second important change is that previously a motion in the Common Law Motion List which the judge dealing with the List was informed would be likely to take more than 15 minutes was transferred to the Non-Jury List to get a hearing date. With effect from 17th April, 2023, any motion which is likely to take more than 15 minutes but less than 30 minutes will be considered by the judge dealing with the list for transfer to the Non-Jury List to get a hearing date but may, subject to the discretion of the judge dealing with the list and the other demands of the list that day, be heard after the rest of the list has been completed. Practitioners and litigants in person are required to provide a genuine and realistic estimate of the length of the hearing of the motion to enable the judge dealing with the list properly to consider whether the motion can be dealt with in the list that day or whether it should be transferred to the Non-Jury List to get a hearing date. The purpose of this change is to relieve significant pressure on the Non-Jury List to which many motions have been transferred from the Common Law Motion Lists in recent times. A considerable number of those motions could be dealt with in the Common Law Motion Lists.
- Probate List
With effect from 17th April, 2023, the Probate List, which has for the past several months been dealt with remotely, will be heard in person by way of a physical hearing in Court 5 in the Four Courts. This change is based on the particular requirements of the Probate List.
- Commercial Planning and Environmental List
The attention of all practitioners and litigants in person is drawn to Practice Direction HC 119 with respect to the “Commercial Planning and Environmental List” signed on 29th March, 2023. HC 119 renames the “Commercial Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Development List” as the “Commercial Planning and Environmental List”. HC 119 comes into effect on 17th April, 2023. It significantly streamlines the procedures for cases dealt with in the List. The scope of the List has been expanded and the requirement to apply for the admission of a case to the List has been dropped in respect of certain types of cases. HC 119 should be consulted for the precise details of the changes made to the procedures applicable to the List. It is envisaged that this List will, in due course, be renamed as the “Planning and Environmental Court”. The range of cases which will be dealt with by that court will be further expanded from those dealt with in the List. It is envisaged that this will happen as soon as the additional High Court judges recommended by the Judicial Planning Working Group and approved recently by the Government are appointed, which is likely to be in the coming months.
President of the High Court
14th April, 2023