The civil courts (being the local County Courts, and the High Court) operate by our “adversarial” system of litigation. This broadly means that, upon the clash of evidence and oral testimony between the protagonists to the claim, hopefully justice, and the truth, will emerge.

The law is applied in the County court by District Judges, and Circuit Judges; and in the High Court by High Court, and deputy High Court, Judges. In the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), which will govern many appeals, the law is applied by Lord Justices of Appeal. That is as far as most cases will get. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the United Kingdom.

The rules which govern the conduct of civil litigation are to be found in the “Civil Procedure Rules” (or CPR). This guidance note will cover the main rules, and armoury, available to the litigant as follows:

  • The overriding objective;
  • Summary judgment;
  • Striking out a case;
  • Security for costs;
  • Statements of case/Amendments to a statement of case;
  • Requests for information pursuant to Part 18;
  • Disclosure and Specific Disclosure;
  • Evidence of fact;
  • Expert evidence;
  • Trial;
  • Costs;
  • Appeals