Review of Federal Courts Rules

A subcommittee of the Federal Courts Rules Committee has issued its report on a  review of the rules. Some recommendations include revising Rule 3 to focus on resolution rather than ‘determination’, introducing ‘proportionality’ to the Rules, increasing available cost awards and formalizing Practice Notices.

The report from the Subcommittee on Global Review of the Federal Courts Rules is dated October 16, 2012 and follows consultations that took place earlier this year.

As described in the announcement, the subcommittee was chaired by Justice Stratas and comprised thirteen judges, prothonotaries, lawyers and court personnel.

The subcommittee reports that it found stakeholders were generally satisfied with the Rules, the level of court involvement and case management.

The subcommittee proposed:

  • that ‘proportionality’ be introduced, not merely as interpretative guidance but as an “independent source of judicial power, even in the face of the wording of a contrary rule.” (p25)
  • increase the power of the court to deal with abusive filings and address vexatious litigants (p29)
  • formalize the issuing of Practice Notices (p32)
  • provide online guidance to navigate the Federal Courts Rules but avoid reorganizing the Rules (p39)
  • that the public be invited to comment the report and recommendations and a further global review be conducted in ten years (p40)

A list of the specific recommendations is in the appendix to the report (starting in page 47). Feedback are requested until January 31, 2013.