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a consistent approach

11 October 2013

The recent decision by Swift J in Biffa Waste Services Ltd v Ali Dinler & Ors displays that the court is taking a consistent approach when it comes to non-compliance with court orders.

In this appeal from the county court, the respondent filed his witness statements 27 days after the due date and two hours within the second deadline but were not received by the court until the day before trial. The district judge decided to grant the respondents relief from sanctions.

The Jackson reforms and the CPR r.3.9 places great weight on court time and resources when considering non-compliance with court orders.

Swift J held that the judge failed to identify the principles to be applied in granting relief from sanctions, and reinforced the view from recent decisions that it is a balancing exercise between proportionality and the overriding objective.

There is a significant change in light of the Jackson reforms which suggests this consistent approach to strict compliance will continue in the future.

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