Proposed amendments to the Rule of the Privy Council
The Registrar has prepared a draft statutory instrument proposing various amendments to the Rules amongst which are:
This is amended to provide an overriding objective to the Rules in terms similar to that which applies to Appeals to the Supreme Court. The amendment states:
"(4) These Rules must be applied and interpreted with a view to securing that the Judicial Committee is accessible, fair and efficient and that unnecessary disputes over procedural matters are discouraged."
As many will know, the English Civil Procedure Rules provides for an Overriding Objective. CPR also discouraged unnecessary disputes over procedural matters. This objective must be welcomed.
As many will be aware, it is proposed to introduce a revised fee structure under which the amount of fee payable depends upon the value of the Appeal. When filing an Application for Permission to Appeal or a Notice of Appeal the Appellant must also file a Certificate of Value stating:
- the sum of money or the amount of damages being claimed
- the value of the land or property, the subject of the appeal
- the monetary value of the relief.
There are three categories:
- not more than GBP 100,000
- more than GBP 100,000 but not more than GBP 500,000
- more than GBP 500,000.
Where an Appellant is unable to quantify the amount or value the minimum fee is payable.
The time limit within which a Respondent to an Application for Permission to Appeal has to file a Notice of Objection is to be changed from 14 days to 28 days. This is very sensible. The limit of 14 days within which to respond to what can sometimes be a comprehensive application for permission is very tight and the change to 28 days is to be welcomed.
This proposes that time for the filing of the Statement of Facts and Issues runs from the receipt of the Record by the Registrar. Currently, the SFI has to be filed within 42 days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal. Often, the Record is not received by the Registrar until some time after the filing of the Notice of Appeal. The proposed amendment seems a sensible suggestion.
This provides that the Registrar may promulgate a Judgment if the Board so directs. The current practice is that a Judgment is available to the parties at 9.30 and embargoed until the Judgment is formally delivered in court. As soon as the Judgment is delivered it is available on the JCPC website. This amendment will result in a saving of costs.
Currently, the Registrar's powers are limited to waiving or remitting the fee payable by a Financially Assisted Person. Now it will be for the Judicial Committee to decide what order for costs should be made. The scheme is also now extended to Respondents, whereas, at present, it is confined to Appellants. This amendment must be welcomed.
The Registrar has indicated that she would be grateful for any comments. You can either e-mail her direct on Louise.DiMambro@supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk or send your comments to myself at Blake Morgan who will collate any responses.
The Registrar has asked for any comments by 23 November. Please could I have any comments by 19 November.