There have been a series of judgments in the civil courts, notably from Jackson L.J., commenting on the length of skeleton arguments. The criminal courts are not immune. In R -v- Brandford  EWCA Crim 1749 the Court of Appeal Criminal Division had strong words to say about the length of the skeleton arguments in the appeal.
THE POSTSCRIPT TO THE JUDGMENT
The postscript to the judgment contains strong words about the length of the submissions.
Secondly, the length of written submissions from counsel. In respect of Brandford, we were provided with a 39 page submission for the conviction appeal and a further 15 page submission for the sentence appeal. In respect of Alford’s renewed application for leave to appeal sentence, we received a 26 page submission (incorporating 7 pages of transcription of the judge’s sentencing remarks) plus a 9 page addendum. Karemera’s renewed application for leave to appeal sentence generated a 27 page submission. Written submissions of this length are, with respect, unnecessary, unhelpful and, in our view, unacceptable. It is much to be hoped that this issue will soon be addressed, robustly.
- This is a sorry tale of woe: speculative skeleton arguments are of no assistance.
- Picking up bad citations: & skeleton arguments – still too long.
- Skeleton arguments: do them properly or you won’t get paid (the triquel).
- Skeleton arguments: if you don’t do them properly you won’t get paid.
- Drafting a skeleton or want to serve an additional skeleton argument? Then you had better read this
- Useless bundles; lengthy skeletons and judicial ire: The Court of Appeal rules inability to impose “old fashioned” sanctions..
- Skeleton arguments more examples online: You can have Cotton if you can’t have silk.
- Drafting skeleton arguments and notices of appeal: more examples online.