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Lawyers tackle court techniques

Lawyers tackle court techniques

Federal litigation experts have compiled a handbook that dictates how to manage cases in the Federal Court of Australia.

FEDERAL litigation experts have compiled a handbook that dictates how to manage cases in the Federal Court of Australia. 


The Case Management Handbook sets out to ensure the quick, inexpensive and efficient resolution of court proceedings via better case management techniques. 


“The Handbook will also assist in gathering and distilling the experience of practitioners and judges alike as to the merits and perils of specific techniques in different contexts,” said Simon Daley, chair of the Federal Litigation Section of the Law Council of Australia. 


Members of the Federal Litigation Section of the Law Council of Australia developed the handbook in conjunction with the Federal Court of Australia. It offers information, guidance, ideas and suggestions about the tools and techniques available for use in the Court. 


The Case Management Handbook, together with empirical research into the Court’s practice undertaken by the University of Melbourne, were central to discussions at a workshop sponsored by the Court and the Law Council held in Melbourne on 26 and 27 August 2011. 


The Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, Patrick A Keane, said a key driver of the development of the handbook was the perceived need to address two principal criticisms of the legal system – delay and expense. 

”The handbook provides guidance on how delays can be minimised, particularly through the early identification of issues of fact and law, and on the best ways to ensure litigants get value for money. 


“The handbook contains a wealth of information, guidance, ideas and suggestions about tools and techniques available in the court based on the experiences of both judges and practitioners. 


“Its use will help to ensure that judges and practitioners serve litigants well and also that practitioners will enjoy to the fullest the interesting work of the court,” Keane CJ said. 


Law Council of Australia president Alexander Ward said the Handbook represented a positive step forward for everyone involved in Federal Court proceedings. 


“I commend the Federal Court of Australia and the Law Council’s Federal Litigation Section for their work on this project—the Handbook will serve as an extremely useful tool for many years to come. 


“Work on the Handbook is an ongoing task and will be subject to continued review and updating with additional chapters to be added over time drawing on the experience of practitioners and Judges in other aspects of the Court’s work. 


A copy of the Case Management Handbook is available at the Law Council of Australia website

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