I write to remind everyone of a few key things which, if got right, will make each public law hearing at CFC more effective:
- If a case is on the portal, the portal is the court file. It is very important that you file your document (statement, assessment, medical report etc) on the portal on the due date. If documents are not filed, the judge and the case progression officer cannot identify if the case is on track or if there are difficulties. We are introducing a non-compliance court this month and failure to file your documents may result in your being required to attend the non-compliance court.
- It is the duty of solicitors to provide access to the portal to the barrister who is instructed; too many barristers are attending hearings without having access to the portal for the particular case and best practice seems to be for counsel’s clerk to sort this out with the solicitor at the time of the initial booking.
- The bundle and Local Authority Case Summaries should be available to the judge not less than 2 working days before the hearing; we expect the other parties to file their position statements by 11 am on the day before the hearing.
- You will have noticed, I hope, that we have a new standard gatekeeping order; please read it carefully and comply with its directions as it has been introduced with a view to making every hearing count.