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CJC announce new rule to ease pressure following on from Mitchell

26 March 2014

The CPR will be amended to allow parties to agree time extensions of up to 28-days to comply with certain directions, without any application to the court. This ‘gem’ follows from the CJC’s recent conference to assess the impact of Jackson. Although the details are awaited, it is likely to cover directions that will not jeopardise the trial period itself (e.g. service of witness statements). This should be seen as a welcome partial return to the pre-Jackson and Mitchell era, with practitioners able to apply a degree of common sense to case directions, and without flooding the courts with pre-emptive applications for relief from sanctions, all because a witness statement is going to be ‘one day late’. However we are far from the ‘good old days’. This is merely some breathing space and 28-days is not a very long time. Therefore the teeth put in place by Jackson under r 3.9 remain ready and waiting to bite.

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