28 January 2021

On 15 December 2020, the Rules of Court (Amendment) 2020 (“ROC 2020”), Rules of the Court of Appeal (Amendment) 2020 (“ROCA 2020”) and Rules of the Federal Court (Amendment) 2020 (“ROFC 2020”) came into effect.

Some of the key provisions of the ROC 2020 include:

  • Order 10, rule 1(1) is amended to allow service by electronic communication.
  • A new Order 33A is inserted which sets out the procedure for proceedings conducted via remote communication technology.
  • Order 34, rule 1(2A) is inserted which provides that a judge of the High Court may refer the parties to mediation, if the judge identifies an issue arising in the action or proceedings that can be resolved by way of mediation.
  • Order 34, rule 5 is substituted to limit pre-trial case management adjournments to not more than three instances.
  • Order 35, rule 3 is substituted to limit adjournment of trial to not more than three times.
  • Order 42, rule 1(5) is inserted to allow pronouncement of judgment or order to be carried out through remote communication technology.

Amendments that allow proceedings by way of remote communication technology have also been made under the ROCA 2020 and ROFC 2020.