GET BUNDLES AND SKELETON ARGUMENTS TO COURT – OR ELSE: CHIEF CONSTABLE COPS IT

There is a brief report on Lawtel today of the case of Marsh -v- Ministry of Justice (QB Phillips J 20/01/2015)*. It provides an object lesson on the need for all parties (and non-parties) to lodge – or re-lodge – bundles and file skeleton arguments on time.

KEY POINTS

  • The applicant chief constable was a non-party to the action was applying for public interest immunity in respect of documents held by the Ministry of Justice.
  • The application was made without a bundle being lodged.
  • A bundle before the court on a previous occasion had not been re-lodged.
  • The chief constable had failed to provide a skeleton argument.
  • The relevant documents had not been provided to the court in advance (which was the usual practice).
  • Because of these failures the application was adjourned to a disclosure hearing taking place in April.
  • Normally non-parties were not ordered to pay costs. However the chief constable had failed to present the application properly in fundamental respects and would bear the costs of the application.

* This post is based on the Lawtel note of the judgment.

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