As many courts across the country resume business after their summer recess, we’re excited to advise FirstPoint subscribers of a relevant major update to the FirstPoint classification scheme on Westlaw AU: a new Courts and Judges title and a significantly modified Procedure title.
Over the past two years, Australian Digest Senior Legal Editor Diane Champion and Legal Editor Avril Easton have undertaken a thorough review of the former Procedure title, and have carefully crafted two new classification schemes to arrange cases in these much-used titles. These two new classification schemes are now available for use on Westlaw AU for FirstPoint subscribers.
The new Procedure title now deals primarily with the civil procedure of State and Territory courts only. Civil procedure in the Federal courts and specialised courts can be found in other titles, including High Court and Federal Court, Environment and Planning, Family Law and Child Welfare and Industrial Law. Criminal procedure can be found in the Criminal Law and Magistrates titles. Procedure in administrative tribunals can be found in other titles, including Administrative Law.
Classifications for the reissued Procedure title have been expanded to give more particularity to the subject matters dealt with. The title commences with general matters such as the jurisdiction and powers of courts. It also covers court officers, such as associate judges, masters, registrars, sheriffs and the like. Its structure then loosely follows a civil proceeding, including, but not limited to:
- purpose of, and obligations under, Rules or Acts regulating civil proceedings;
- case management;
- court supervision;
- commencing proceedings;
- discovery and interrogatories;
- ending proceedings early;
- motions, interlocutory applications and other pre-trial matters;
- detention, inspection and preservation;
- procedural aspects of evidence;
- judgments and orders;
- costs; and
- miscellaneous procedural matters.
To reflect the move towards uniform civil procedure rules, the distinction between civil procedure in Supreme Courts and that in lower courts has been removed. The distinctions between individual States and Territories have largely been removed also.
Researchers should refer to the new Courts and Judges title for general matters relating to courts, judges, precedents and contempt. The Courts chapter covers jurisdiction and powers, including concurrent jurisdiction of different courts, transfer of proceedings between courts, advisory opinions and hypothetical questions, and classification of courts. The Judges chapter includes appointment and removal of judges, disqualification for interest or bias, control of the courtroom, and the effect of a judge ceasing to hold office or being unavailable to sit. There is a chapter on Precedents, as well as a chapter on Contempt, including general principles, particular contempts, power of court to punish for contempt, punishment and enforcement, and procedure and evidence relating to contempt.
Cases dealing with appeals between levels of State and Territory courts have largely been moved to Appeal and New Trial.