The amendments to the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW)
which require parties to take reasonable steps to resolve, or at
least narrow the issues in dispute before commencing proceedings,
will commence on 1 April 2011. Please refer to our earlier eAlert!
for more detail concerning the new pre-litigation requirements.
The transitional provisions can be somewhat confusing. They
provide that the new provisions extend to civil proceedings
commenced on or after 1 April 2011 in relation to civil disputes
arising before that date, but only if the proceedings are commenced
after the expiry of the transitional period (the transitional
period expires on 1 October 2011).
In practice, it will be virtually impossible to determine
whether the proceedings will be commenced after 1 October 2011.
Accordingly, parties should start complying with the pre-litigation
requirements as soon as possible.
Importantly, proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales
have now been excluded from the pre-litigation requirements
(pending the enactment by the Commonwealth Parliament of comparable
provisions in relation to the commencement of civil proceedings in
We mentioned in our Guide to the New Pre-Litigation Requirements
that pre-litigation requirements had also been introduced in
Victoria. They were to apply to proceedings commenced on or after 1
July 2011. However, there is a bill currently before the Victorian
Parliament that proposes to repeal the pre-litigation
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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