Practice Note CM 1

PA Keane, Chief Justice 01 August 2011

This Practice Note is REVOKED

On 25 October 2016, as part of the National Court Framework reforms, all existing practice documents were revoked and new national practice notes were issued, effective immediately.

To assist Court users to understand these practice note changes, the Court has prepared:

Case management and the Individual Docket System

RTF version (19.9 kb)

1.    Introduction

1.1  The essential element of the individual docket system is that a case is allocated to a docket of a particular judge at the time of filing with the intention that it will remain with that judge for case management and disposition.

1.2  The purpose of this Practice Note is to restate the purposes and principles underpinning the individual docket system.

2.    Purposes

2.1  The overarching purpose of civil practice and procedure and case management within the individual docket system is to facilitate the just resolution of disputes according to law as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible (see section 37M Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ('the Act').

2.2  This purpose informs what the Court does in its management of a proceeding.

2.3  Section 37N of the Act requires that the parties to a proceeding and their lawyers to conduct the proceeding in a way that is consistent with the overarching purpose.

3.    Principles

3.1  In giving effect to the overarching purpose, the Court, the parties and the parties' lawyers will necessarily have regard to how the interests of justice will be served either generally or in any particular proceeding.

3.2  To that end also, the parties and the parties' lawyers may expect the Court to have regard to the desirability of:

(a)  identifying and narrowing the issues in dispute as early as possible;

(b)  ascertaining the degree of difficulty or complexity of the issues really in dispute;

(c)  setting a trial date early;

(d)  minimising unnecessary interlocutory steps by permitting only interlocutory steps that are directed to identifying, narrowing or resolving the issues really in dispute between the parties;

(e)  exploring options for alternative dispute resolution as early as practicable.

3.3  The parties and their lawyers are obliged to cooperate with, and assist, the Court in achieving the overarching purpose and, in particular, in identifying the real issues in dispute as early as possible and in dealing with those issues efficiently.