Following a hearing before Master Cook yesterday afternoon (12 Feb 2014) new model directions for all matters in the Royal Courts of Justice have been approved by the Master of the Rolls and the president of the Queen’s Bench Division. This is an express attempt to address, namely reduce, extensions of time applications. Parties may now agree extensions of time of up to 28 days without the need to apply to Court. Also, all the court needs in the first instance for longer periods of extension is an email briefly explaining reasons, confirmation that it will not prejudice any hearing date and with a draft Consent Order in Word format. The Court will then consider whether a formal Application and Hearing is necessary.
Master Cook hopes that eventually the standpoint of this new paragraph, as below, will be incorporated into the rules. Until then, the hope is that it will reduce the number of applications for minor extensions of time.
Text of new paragraph 25 of the model directions:
‘The parties may, by prior agreement in writing, extend the time for directions, in the Order dated xxxxxx, by up to 28 days and without the need to apply to Court. Beyond that 28 day period, any agreed extension of time must be submitted to the Court by email including a brief explanation of the reasons, confirmation that it will not prejudice any hearing date and with a draft Consent Order in word format. The Court will then consider whether a formal Application and Hearing is necessary.’
With thanks and acknowledgement to Kerry Underwood.