Disclosure: avoiding the pitfalls
22 May 2017
This guide provides you with a general introduction to the obligations of disclosure in Court proceedings. The rules governing disclosure are found in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 31 and the surrounding case law. This guide will highlight the main points you need to know, consider the problems often encountered and offer some practical tips.
What is disclosure?
Disclosure is the process by which parties to proceedings disclose to each other certain documents which are relevant to the proceedings. The court has the power to decide the nature and scope of the disclosure to be given including (although rarely) the power to dispense with it altogether. Before any order is made the court will usually expect the parties to discuss and where possible agree the nature and extent of the disclosure exercise appropriate to the claim.
Can I destroy relevant documents?
No. Once the litigation has commenced or, indeed, once you become aware of the possibility of litigation, you are under a duty to preserve all documents which may become disclosable in that action.
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