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One year into the new District Courts Rules

By Claire Mansell - 10 Feb 2011

New District Courts Rules have been in force since November 2009. They aimed to make the Court more accessible to the public with simplified language, processes and forms. It was expected that lawyers' input would decrease as a result, with associated savings for litigants. Looking back one year on, it seems the Rules have delivered on two key fronts.

First, unmeritorious claims are being weeded out earlier due to a new vetting process where litigants fully review each others' cases before a Judge is involved. Strict vetting timetables have created some difficulties, but these are able to be resolved at minimal expense.

Secondly, litigants are less likely to fall through procedural cracks because key documents clearly explain their effect and what action may be taken in response. Legal cracks are another thing altogether though, and the majority still engage lawyers to manage this aspect.


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