New rules relating to written submissions and issue papers in the High Court

PUBLISHED: 24th September 2020

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A new High Court Practice Direction “HC97 – Written Submissions and Issue Papers”, issued by the President of the High Court, Ms Justice Irvine, will come into force on 5 October 2020.

The practice direction indicates a clear desire by the High Court to streamline the civil process and ensure that submissions and issue papers put before it are clear, concise and in good order.

The consequences of non-compliance with the practice direction will be takenn into consideration by the Court when making any order for costs in proceedings to which the practice direction relates.  It will be for the party in breach of the practice direction to show why the costs of the said submissions should not be disallowed.

The details of the practice direction are set out below.

Written Submissions

  • All written submissions should carry the title and record number of the case and indicate on whose behalf they are presented.
  • Submissions should be dated and where settled by counsel; counsels’ names should appear at the foot thereof.
  • Submissions should be logically arranged with appropriate headings and should be a concise summary of the submissions to be developed in oral argument.  They must not contain irrelevant, immaterial or scandalous matter.  They should refer to all relevant authorities to be relied upon.
  • Submissions should follow a prescribed template which is set out in the practice direction.
  • Submissions should identify the relevant legal principles relevant to the case as pleaded and / or the evidence to be adduced.  They should be focused on those matters and generalised submissions are not permitted.
  • The Plaintiff / Applicant should include a full chronology of all relevant facts and of the procedural history of the proceedings (including filing dates of key pleadings) as an appendix to the submissions.  The Defendant / Respondent / Notice Party should indicate in its submissions if the chronology is agreed.
  • Where the chronology is not agreed, the Defendant / Respondent / Notice Party should produce a full chronology identifying clearly the points of difference, preferably in bold font.  The chronology does not need to be included in the word count, but it must not be used to circumvent the word count of the submissions.
  • An electronic copy of written submissions must be sent in Word document format by email to highcourtsubmissions@courts.ie, together with the hard copy, within the same time as fixed for delivering the hard copy. The written submissions should use bold or underlining rather than word ‘headings’ as much as possible.  The email enclosing the submissions must follow a specific format as set out in the practice direction.

Books of Authorities

  • It is the responsibility of the parties to agree a Joint Book of Authorities and the Plaintiff / Appellant should deliver to the Defendant / Respondent a list of authorities to be relied on, no later than the Plaintiff / Appellant delivering written submissions.  The same timeframe applies for the Defendant / Respondent delivering replying submissions.
  • The Court has its own Book of Authorities for a number of common applications, such as applications for discovery, applications for security for costs and applications for interim and interlocutory injunctions.  A full list of the applications in which the Court has its own Book of Authorities is set out in full in the practice direction and the list of authorities in the Court’s Books is available on the Court website.
  • Books of Authorities in such applications should only include authorities not identified in the Court’s own book and only if of particular relevance to the application and it should be highlighted in advance in the Book of Authorities submitted.
  • Books of Authorities should be presented in a prescribed format which is set out in the practice direction.  Where a case has been reported in the official reports, this is the only version which should be included.
  • No Book of Authority should include more than 8 cases and only authorities which will be referred to in oral argument are to be included.

Issue Papers

  • Save where there are one or two clear issues in an application / action, the parties to the proceedings should agree an issue paper which states concisely the issues to be determined.
  • Where there is no or only partial agreement to the issues, each party should submit an issue paper setting out concisely what they consider the issues to be.  This issue paper should be no more than 10,000 words.
  • An electronic copy of the issue papers must be sent in Word document format by email to highcourtsubmissions@courts.ie, together with the hard copy, within the same time as fixed for delivering the hard copy. The issue papers should use bold or underlining rather than word ‘headings’ as much as possible.  The email enclosing the issue papers must follow a specific format as set out in the practice direction.

 

The full practice direction can be viewed here https://www.courts.ie/content/written-submissions-and-issue-papers


If you would like any further information, please contact Katie Linden at klinden@lkshields.ie or Michael Kavanagh at mkavanagh@lkshields.ie

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