The Civil Procedure Amendment Act 2012 (Vic) ("the Amending
Act") has recently been passed and commences in two stages;
all amendments except those relating to certification start on 24
December 2012, the certification amendments start on 31 March 2013.
The Victorian legislation applies to civil proceedings in the
Supreme, County and Magistrates Courts and aims to 'improve the
efficiency of the civil justice system and reduce the
administrative burden on litigants and legal practitioners'. We
have set out below five of the key changes that the Amending Act
introduces which will impact on the way civil proceedings are run
EXPERT EVIDENCE REFORMS – COMMENCING 24 DECEMBER
Parties in the higher courts intending to adduce expert
evidence must seek directions from the court before doing so. (This
rule does not yet apply to the Magistrates' Court.)
A Court will have the power to make any direction it considers
appropriate in relation to expert evidence including:
limiting expert evidence to specific issues;
limiting the number of experts who can give evidence on an
directing that two or more experts prepare a joint report which
sets out the key areas of agreement and disagreement between
directing that a conference of experts be held, with or without
directing two or more experts to give evidence concurrently and
be permitted to ask each other questions;
order that two or more parties jointly retain an expert;
that the Court obtain its own expert to assist in the
proceedings. In this case parties will be permitted to seek leave
to adduce further evidence.
COSTS REFORMS – COMMENCING 24 DECEMBER 2012
Courts will have power to make an order for the disclosure of
costs associated with litigation by a lawyer to their client. This
includes their actual costs, pre-trial costs or estimated costs
should the matter be unsuccessful at trial. This power will be used
by courts to ensure parties are fully aware of litigation costs and
REFORMS TO CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS – COMMENCING 31
The person in control of civil proceedings, including an
insurer, will now have the option to submit the 'overarching
obligations' certificate, ("Certification") instead
of the insured. This will be useful, for example, where the insured
cannot be found or does not feel comfortable signing the
certificate as they are a party in name only.
If parties have filed Certification in the past two years (or
over a period of time specified by the court rules) in civil
proceedings in the same jurisdiction, then they won't have to
do it again. This will be useful, for example, where there are
separate proceedings under statute (eg s.138 of the Accident
Compensation Act) and under the common law.
As always, we are happy to assist should you require any
assistance or advice in relation to the changes.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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