Authors

Andrew Howell

Partner

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James Bryden

James Bryden

Senior associate

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Authors

Andrew Howell

Partner

Read More
James Bryden

James Bryden

Senior associate

Read More

3 May 2018

Digitising disputes – 11 of 13 Insights

Rethinking witness evidence in commercial trials

  • Quick read

Last year, we wrote an opinion piece for The Lawyer in which we explained the problems that we saw with the current system of factual witness evidence in commercial disputes.

We suggested that more thought be given to alternative approaches (such as the use of shorter witness summaries with greater evidence in chief on certain issues raised in a summary) and that perhaps a "menu" of evidence options (similar to the menu of disclosure options implemented following the Jackson reforms) should be considered.

It appears that the courts are now taking note of the problems with the current system. At a recent meeting of the Commercial Court Users' Group, the creation of a working party to consider the problems with witness evidence and the possible solutions or improvements (including a menu of options) was endorsed; the minutes of the meeting are available online.

It will be interesting to see how the working party that is to be established takes matters forward. We will let you know of developments.

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