High Court (COVID-19 Preparedness) Amendment Rules 2020

6 New rules 5.1A and 5.1B inserted

After rule 5.1, insert:

5.1A Filing generally

(1)

In this rule and in rule 5.1B,—

electronic address means any method by which a document communicated in electronic form may be directed to the attention of a particular user of an electronic communications or information management, retrieval, or storage system, and includes, without limitation,—

(a)

email addresses; and

(b)

fax numbers; and

(c)

remotely accessible locations in file directories located on computer hard-drives, servers, or internet-based servers

published means having been made available at all reasonable times on an Internet website maintained by or on behalf of a Registrar

(2)

Subject to subclauses (3) to (8), any document required by these rules to be filed may be filed in the proper registry of the court by—

(a)

delivering it to that registry by hand during registry hours; or

(b)

sending it by mail to a postal address for that registry published by a Registrar; or

(c)

sending a copy of that document in electronic form to an electronic address—

(i)

to which the person filing the document has been directed by the court or a Registrar to send any documents that are to be filed electronically in a particular proceeding or interlocutory application; or

(ii)

where no such direction has been made in respect of the particular proceeding or interlocutory application to which the document relates, to an electronic address published by a Registrar for the purpose of allowing the electronic filing of documents in the proper registry of the court.

(3)

Subclause (4) applies where any copy of any document filed by means of an electronic communication pursuant to these rules contains a signature or other mark or writing intended by the person responsible for the inclusion of that signature or other mark or writing in the document to convey their authorisation, certification, endorsement or authentication of any matter contained within the document copied.

(4)

In respect of a copy of a document to which this subclause applies, despite any provision in these rules, or in any enactment, regulation or rule of law to the contrary, that copy of a document, and any matter contained within it, is deemed to have been sufficiently authorised, certified, authenticated, signed, or otherwise endorsed for the purposes of these rules as if the original document had been filed.

(5)

For the avoidance of doubt, parties to proceedings and interlocutory applications are not required to have regard to High Court Practice Note 2019/1 (The Use of Electronic Common Bundles and Electronic Casebooks in the High Court) so far as that practice note requires the delivery of any common bundle or casebook to a registry by hand or by post, provided that parties must have regard to that practice note so far as it regulates the preparation and format of, and technical requirements for, the electronic common bundle or casebook.

(6)

A Judge (including an Associate Judge) may, if satisfied that an emergency in the place at which the registry of the court in question is situated means that the filing of documents other than electronically would cause, or risk causing, disruption to the orderly and safe dispatch of the court’s business, require that—

(a)

any document required to be filed by these rules in the proper registry of the court; or

(b)

any document intended by any person to be filed in a given registry of the court—

must not be filed pursuant to the provisions of subclause (2)(a) and must instead be filed pursuant to the provisions of either subclause (2)(b) or (c).

(7)

Subject to subclause (8), in the event of any inconsistency between any provision of this rule and any other provision of these rules or any other enactment, this rule prevails.

(8)

This rule is subject to rule 5.1B.

5.1B When documents filed

(1)

Subject to subclause (2), and despite any other provision of these rules or any other enactment or regulation to the contrary, a document—

(a)

delivered by hand to a registry of the court pursuant to rule 5.1A(2)(a) is filed on the day on which it is accepted for filing by the registry and at the time at which the registry receives it:

(b)

sent by mail to a postal address in accordance with rule 5.1A(2)(b) is filed when the registry receives it:

(c)

filed by sending it to an electronic address in accordance with rule 5.1A(2)(c)—

(i)

is filed when it is received by the relevant electronic communications or information management, retrieval, or storage system, provided the document is received by that system during registry hours; or

(ii)

at 9 am on the first day on which the relevant registry of the court is open after the document is received by the relevant electronic communications or information management, retrieval, or storage system.

(2)

A document is not filed until the earlier of the time that either—

(a)

any fee prescribed for the filing of that document by a provision of the High Court Fees Regulations 2013 has been paid; or

(b)

the person responsible for the filing of the document has, in a manner directed by a Registrar, either—

(i)

provided a Registrar with a credit card payment authority for a sum equal to the fee payable for the filing of that document; or

(ii)

where the court is able to facilitate it, paid a sum equal to the fee payable for the filing of that document by means of electronic bank transfer into an account identified by the Registrar for that purpose; or

(c)

in any case where the Registrar accepts it is impracticable for the person presenting the document to effect payment of the fee by any other means, and—

(i)

there is a solicitor on the record for the party seeking to file the document, by providing together with the document filed that solicitor’s unconditional undertaking to the court to make the payment of the fee for the filing of that document within three working days from the day on which the document has been filed; or

(ii)

where the party seeking to file a document is represented by a barrister sole permitted to represent that party without the intervention of an instructing lawyer pursuant to rules 14.4 to 14.12 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, by providing together with the document filed that barrister sole’s unconditional undertaking to the court to make payment of the fee for the filing of that document within three working days from the day on which the document has been filed:

provided that in any case where an undertaking under this paragraph has not been fulfilled within the time provided for payment, the court may order that no reliance can be placed on that document or that the document not be used in the proceeding until the payment is received; or

(d)

the Registrar has determined that the document is to be treated as having been filed despite non-payment of the fee:

provided that such a determination may be made only if the court is satisfied that doing so is necessary in the interests of justice, having regard to—

(i)

the circumstances of the proceeding or interlocutory application in question; and

(ii)

the existence of an emergency in the place at which the registry of the court in question is situated.