This Practice Direction supplements CPR Part 23

Contents of this Practice Direction

Referral to a different judgePara. 1
Application noticesPara. 2.1
Applications without service of application noticePara. 3
Giving notice of an applicationPara. 4
Civil National Business CentrePara. 5.1
HearingsPara. 6.1
DocumentsPara. 6.2
EvidencePara. 7.1
Consent ordersPara. 8.1
Applications to stay claim where related criminal proceedingsPara. 9.1

Referral to a different judge

1. Masters or District Judges may refer to a judge of a higher level any matter which they think should properly be decided by that judge, and that judge may either dispose of the matter or refer it back to the Master or District Judge.”

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Application notices

2.1 An application notice must, in addition to the matters set out in rule 23.6, be signed and include:

(1) the title of the claim,

(2) the reference number of the claim,

(3) the full name of the applicant,

(4) where the applicant is not already a party, their address for service, including a postcode; and

(5) either a request for a hearing or a request that the application be dealt with without a hearing.

2.2 Where a hearing is requested by the applicant or the court decides to hold a hearing, the court will notify the applicant of the time and date for the hearing of the application and may at the same time give directions for the filing of evidence.

2.3 On receipt of an application notice containing a request that the application be dealt with without a hearing, a Master, District Judge or other judge will decide whether the application is suitable for consideration without a hearing.

2.4 Where the Master, District Judge or other judge so decides, the court will inform the applicant and the respondent and may give directions for the filing of evidence.

2.5 Every application should be made as soon as it appears necessary or desirable to make it.

2.6 Applications should wherever possible be made so that they can be considered at any hearing for which a date has already been or is about to be fixed fixed by the court.

2.7 The parties must anticipate that at any hearing the court may wish to review the conduct of the case as a whole and give any necessary case management directions. They should be ready to assist the court and to answer questions the court may ask.

2.8 Where a date for a hearing has been fixed and a party wishes to make an application at that hearing but does not have enough time to file or serve an application notice they should inform the other party and the court (if possible in writing) as soon as possible and make the application orally at the hearing.

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Applications without service of application notice

3 An application may be made without serving an application notice only:

(1) where there is exceptional urgency,

(2) where the overriding objective is best furthered by doing so,

(3) by consent of all parties,

(4) with the permission of the court,

(5) where the applicant is seeking a direction that their address not be provided to a party,

(6) where paragraph 2.8 above applies, or

(7) where a court order, rule or practice direction permits.

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Giving notice of an application

4  Where an application notice should be served but there is not enough time to do so, informal notification of the application should be given unless the circumstances of the application require secrecy.

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Civil National Business Centre

5.1 If the claim is started in the Civil National Business Centre, an application made after a claim has been started must be made to the Civil National Business Centre or County Court hearing centre where the claim is being dealt with.

5.2 A District Judge may—

(a) consider the application without a hearing; or

(b) direct that the application should be transferred to a County Court hearing centre.

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6.1 A hearing may be held in person, remotely or partially remotely in accordance with arrangements permitted or required under any enactment.

6.2 The court will communicate to the parties the arrangements for the hearing.  The parties, their representatives and any witnesses must comply with those arrangements.

6.3 Hearings to deal with allocation or listing or with a time estimate of two hours or less may be conducted remotely, depending on the normal practice at a particular court.


6.4 Where a document is required to be filed and served in advance of a hearing, the party or their legal representative must, unless the court directs otherwise, do so no later than 4pm at least 2 days before the hearing.

6.5 A case summary and draft order must be filed and served in –

(a) multi-track cases; and

(b) small, fast and intermediate track cases if the court so directs.


7.1 Where it is intended to rely on evidence not contained in the application itself, the evidence should be served with the application unless it has already been served.

7.2 Where a respondent wishes to rely on evidence which has not yet been served they should serve it as soon as possible and in accordance with any directions of the court.

7.3 If it is necessary for the applicant to serve any evidence in reply it should be served as soon as possible and in accordance with any directions of the court.

7.4 Evidence must be filed with the court as well as served on the parties. Exhibits to witness statements should not be filed unless the court directs otherwise.

7.5 The contents of an application notice may be used as evidence (otherwise than at trial) provided the contents have been verified by a statement of truth (see Part 22).

Consent orders

8.1 Rule 40.6 sets out the circumstances where an agreed judgment or order may be entered and sealed.

8.2 Where all parties affected by an order have written to the court consenting to the making of the order a draft of which has been filed with the court, the court will treat the draft as having been signed in accordance with rule 40.6(7).

8.3 Where a consent order is made by a judge, the order must be drawn so that the judge’s name and judicial title can be inserted.

8.4 The parties to an application for a consent order must provide the court with clear evidence that all relevant parties consent to the order. Subject to any rule or practice direction a letter copied to all relevant parties will generally be acceptable.

8.5 Where a judgment or order has been agreed in respect of an application or claim where a hearing date has been fixed, the parties must inform the court immediately.

Applications to stay claim where there are related criminal proceedings

9.1 An application for the stay of civil proceedings pending the determination of related criminal proceedings may be made by any party to the civil proceedings or by the prosecutor or any defendant in the criminal proceedings.

9.2 Except for the applicant, every party to the civil proceedings must be made a respondent to the application.

9.3 The evidence in support of the application must contain an estimate of the expected duration of the stay and must identify the respects in which the continuance of the civil proceedings may prejudice the criminal trial.

9.4 In order to make an application under paragraph 11A.1, it is not necessary for the prosecutor or defendant in the criminal proceedings to be joined as a party to the civil proceedings

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  1. See Part 22. Back to text
Ministry of Justice