Preparing A Bundle
- The purpose of a bundle is to provide the court with all relevant information which is in written form and to which reference will be made by a claimant or a defendant during the hearing.
- Bundles are required for all civil trials and for family cases listed for more than half a day.
- Bundles are also useful for shorter and preliminary hearings and should be prepared even if not ordered as a good practice.
- The collection of documents which a person wants to submit in the court in the favour of his claim is known as Bundle.
- The bundle of documents s contains all relevant documents, including any documents required to be included by the defendant and any other party who is to make representations at the hearing.
- This may include any evidence, original decision, grounds for claims etc.
- The Court expects, therefore, to have a joint bundle of documents which includes all the documents to which any party present at the hearing will or may like to refer.
- It is very important to include only relevant and necessary information in the Bundle.
- A claimant is required by law to file a bundle of documents at the same time as the claimant files his or her skeleton argument for the substantive hearing.
- The Court does not expect to have documents handed up to it during the course of the hearing, except in exceptional circumstances, however, the acceptance of any documents during the hearing is subject to court’s permission.
- A Judge may refuse to accept the documents during the hearing.
- Any bundle containing documents which are to be put before the Court should be served on the Court and the other party or parties in good time before the hearing. The claimant must give 3 clear days before most ordinary hearing.
- Generally, in case of urgent hearing a bundle may not be required to produce. However, the Court would expect from the claimant to produce all relevant documents before the court.
- In the cases of Urgent Hearing, the Bundle should be provided to the court and other parties before 1 pm on the day before hearing.
Format of the Bundle
- Bundles should ideally be secured in files which are sufficiently large to accommodate the documents contained in them.
- It is a good practice to insert the summary of the case at the beginning of the Bundle. It allows Judges to grasp the essential facts of the case and the main issue.
- A schedule of the issues which a court will decide may also be included in the beginning of the bundle
- A draft or summary of the remedy or orders (the decision claimant hope for) must also be attached at the beginning of the Bundle.
- The pages should be numbered sequentially and indexed.
- It is advisable to Use page dividers to separate each section of the bundle, such as pleadings, witness statements, experts’ reports and so on.
- The bundle spines should be clearly marked with the reference number of the case and name of the parties.
- Photocopying should be 2-sided in portrait format (not landscape).
- Photocopies must be readable.
- Documents should be presented in chronological order.
- In cases where the documents are extensive (as a guideline, more than 500 pages), the parties to the case should try to agree a “core bundle” of key documents.
- In regards to Core Bundle, consideration should be given to including only the important and relevant parts of a long document in the Court bundle and not copying the whole of that document.
- The Court may refuse to read a bundle which does not comply with these requirements, or direct that a revised bundle is submitted which does comply, in which event the judge may disallow the costs or make a different adverse costs order.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
If the trial bundle or bundle of documents does not comply with the guidance or is served late, the Court may refuse to allow the party in default to rely on the bundle of documents; alternatively, it may make adverse costs order against the party in default.
- Legalally has a team of experienced solicitors who will support and guide you throughout your legal issue and will strive to achieve the best result for you.
In the case of Judicial Review, the parties to the case are under a legal duty to provide the court with all the facts and information about the case. This effectively means that parties must disclose any information or material facts which either support or undermine their case.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legalally does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.