Review of the Federal Courts Rules

The Federal Courts Rules Committee has announced a subcommittee for a global review of the Federal Courts Rules and released an accompanying discussion paper. The Notice to the Profession invites comments by January 6, 2012.

The last significant review of the Rules took place in 1989 and while some amendments have been made (including most recently regarding expert witnesses and summary judgment), the Rules Committee has decided a full review is warranted. The issues identified in the discussion paper for review are:

  • Court-led Procedure v. Party-led Procedure
  • The Court’s Authority to Control Abuse
  • Trial vs. Disposition
  • Introducing the Principle of Proportionality
  • Making Effective Use of Practice Directions
  • Uniform Procedures vs Specialized Procedures
  • Making the “Architecture” of the Rules more User-Friendly
  • Other areas

The Rules Committee has already announced proposals to amend the Federal Courts Rules relating to Information Technology and some Procedural Changes.