New Zealand Law Society - High Court judiciary to enforce synopsis page limit

High Court judiciary to enforce synopsis page limit

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The Chief High Court Judge says the content and page limits set out in High Court Rule 7.39 for the synopsis of argument in interlocutory hearings will be enforced.

A statement from Justice Venning says a stakeholders meeting with members of the legal profession showed concern at the extent of submissions and the size of bundles of authorities produced for interlocutory hearings.

"I have since discussed this with the judges of the High Court. They agree that the content and page limits set out in rule 7.39 ... should be enforced," he says.

Justice Venning says there are two particular aspects of the rule he draws attention to.

"The first is the 10 page limit on synopses of submissions which is often ignored. Next, a practice has developed of counsel photocopying every authority in the index even if it is not intended to ask the Court to consider the content at the hearing. As the rule provides, only a list of authorities need be provided, not photocopies of the authorities themselves.

'Where counsel wish to take a judge to specific passages within a particular judgment during argument the whole judgment could be provided, but it is otherwise unnecessary to create bundles of authorities the Court will not be asked to open at the hearing."

Justice Venning says judges have been encouraged to enforce the provisions of the rule "immediately".

He says counsel are also encouraged to consider filing an electronic copy of the synopsis which contains hyperlinks to the relevant documents and authorities.

"This is not a requirement of the Rules but adopting the practice would assist in the efficient disposition of these cases."