The overriding objective


(1) These rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly,having regard to any welfare issues involved.

(2) Dealing with a case justly includes, so far as is practicable –

(a) ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly;

(b) dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate to the nature, importance and complexity of the issues;

(c) ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;

(d) saving expense; and

(e) allotting to it an appropriate share of the court's resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases.

Application by the court of the overriding objective


(1) The court must seek to give effect to the overriding objective when it –

(a) exercises any power given to it by these rules; or

(b) interprets any rule.

Duty of the parties


The parties are required to help the court to further the overriding objective.

Court's duty to manage cases


(1) The court must further the overriding objective by actively managing cases.

(2) Active case management includes–

(a) setting timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case;

(b) identifying at an early stage–

(i) the issues;and

(ii) who should be a party to the proceedings;

(c) deciding promptly –

(i) which issues need full investigation and hearing and which do not; and

(ii) the procedure to be followed in the case;

(d) deciding the order in which issues are to be resolved;

(e) controlling the use of expert evidence;

(f) encouraging the parties to use a non-court dispute resolution procedure if the court considers that appropriate and facilitating the use of such procedure;

(g) helping the parties to settle the whole or part of the case;

(h) encouraging the parties to co-operate with each other in the conduct of proceedings;

(i) considering whether the likely benefits of taking a particular step justify the cost of taking it;

(j) dealing with as many aspects of the case as it can on the same occasion;

(k) dealing with the case without the parties needing to attend at court;

(l) making use of technology; and

(m) giving directions to ensure that the case proceeds quickly and efficiently.

The Welsh language


(1) Nothing in the overriding objective undermines the principles provided by section 1 of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011(1) that the Welsh language has official status in Wales or by section 22 of the Welsh Language Act 1993(2) that in any legal proceedings in Wales the Welsh language may be used by any person who desires to use it.

(2) The parties are required to assist the court to put into effect the principles set out in paragraph (1).


Ministry of Justice


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