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Relief from sanctions – the new CPR 3.9

Applications for relief from sanctions made after 01.04.13 will be subject the new CPR r. 3.9(1) which provides as follows:

“On an application for relief from any sanction imposed for a failure to comply with any rule, practice direction or court order, the court will consider all the circumstances of the case, so as to enable it to deal justly with the application, including the need–

(a) for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost; and

(b) to enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders.”

The old ‘checklist’ approach to the nine criteria in the old CPR r. 3.9 has been replaced and (in addition to ‘all the circumstances of the case’) particular emphasis has been given the need to conduct litigation at proportionate cost and the need to enforce rules, practice directions and orders. That position mirrors the amended Overriding Objective, which now includes specific reference to the need to enforce compliance (see r. 1.1(2)(f)) and places greater emphasis on the need to deal with cases at proportionate cost.

It is clear that the intention behind the change is to encourage the courts to be less ready than previously to grant relief against sanctions imposed for procedural defaults. As Jackson LJ put it in Fred Perry (Holdings) Ltd v Brands Plaza Trading Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 224:

“After [01.04.13] litigants who substantially disregard Court orders or the requirements of the Civil Procedural Rules will receive significantly less indulgence than hitherto.”

That spirit of that sentiment has been recently reiterated by Dyson MR in his speech to the District Judges’ Annual Seminar titled ‘The Application of the Amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules’. For a full copy of the speech see:

May 4, 2013 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases