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Practice notes with byte

Practice notes with byte

By Julian Lambert

Civil Procedure Practice & Procedure 


New court guidelines encourage speed and efficiency in civil proceedings. The Supreme Court of Victoria and Federal Court of Australia have recently updated their technology in civil proceedings practice notes sending the strongest signals yet that they expect litigators to work towards reducing cost and time through the adoption of technology tools and planning processes. In particular, they identify the filing of court documents, management of discovery and using technology in hearings as areas where efficiencies can be gained. The recent practice note updates emphasise the importance of using available technology, including artificial intelligence tools, to assist with discovery. The Federal Court practice note CM6, Electronic Technology in Litigation, has been replaced with the more extensive Technology and the Court (GPN-TECH) guidelines. Matters from November 2016 are covered by the new guidelines and matters that were commenced before November 2016 are covered by the previous Case Management Note 6 guidelines. The Supreme Court of Victoria has published GEN 5 Guidelines for the Use of Technology which took effect on 30 January this year. The tone of this practice note is firmer than its predecessors stating, for example, that “Dealings in hard copy are to be the exception rather than the rule in all aspects of civil litigation in the Court” and “Converting Electronic Documents into hard copy requires justification”. It also states that “An unreasonable failure to cooperate in the use of technology which occasions additional costs will constitute a breach of the overarching obligations of the parties”.

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