The Victorian Parliament has recently passed the Civil Procedure Amendment Act 2012, which introduces a number of changes to the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic).

One of the main changes is an amendment to the requirements for filing overarching obligations certifications before civil proceedings are commenced. Previously, the named party to a proceeding had to sign and file a document at the outset of proceeding, confirming that they would comply with obligations to act fairly and reasonably in the conduct of the proceeding. However, it made little sense for the named party to make this certification where they had no meaningful control over the conduct of the litigation, such as in the case of a subrogated action brought by an insurer in the name of an insured.

Now, the Act has been changed to allow the entity with control of the proceeding on behalf of the named party, ie. the insurer, to sign the certification instead.

Another significant change is that a party who is represented by a lawyer is not required to make the overarching obligations certification if the party has been involved, or is currently involved, in a civil proceeding and has previously made a certification. A lawyer representing an insurer is able to certify that this section applies to their client.

The Act also grants more power to Victorian Courts to make whatever costs orders it considers appropriate.

Insured persons no longer have to sign overarching obligations certifications, as they have little say in the conduct of proceedings. These amendments remove some unnecessary red tape from subrogated litigation in Victoria.

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