Civil cases are governed by the Civil Procedure Rules which were introduced in Gibraltar in May 2000 by virtue of the Supreme Court Act of Gibraltar.
What are the Civil Procedure Rules
Civil Procedure rules (CPR) is a complete and self-contained procedural code for civil litigation supplemented by Practice Directions.
What is CPR designed for
The CPR was designed to improve access to justice by making legal proceedings cheaper, quicker, and easier to understand for non-lawyers. Unlike the previous rules of civil procedure, the CPR commence with a statement of their “Overriding Objective”, both to aid in the application of specific provisions and to guide behaviour where no specific rule applies.”
The principal objectives
• to establish standard procedures (including fixed timetables) for dealing with smaller cases involving less than £15,000 so they are dealt with quickly and inexpensively.
• to enable courts to manage cases more effectively in accordance with their own assessment of what is required to achieve a just resolution.
The rules introduced the concept of proportionality between the size of the claim and the legal costs recoverable. They attempt to promote a culture of openness at the start of the legal process and also before litigation has been instituted.
The overriding objective involves ensuring that:
• Dealing with the case justly and at proportionate cost includes, so far as is practical-
a) Ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing
b) Saving expense
c) Dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate-
i. To the amount of money involved
ii. To the importance of the case
iii. To the complexity of the issues; and
iv. To the financial position of each party
d) Ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly
e) Allotting to it an appropriate share of the court’s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases; and
f) Enforcing compliance with rules, practice directions and orders
CAB SERVICE AIMS TO
Ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities or of the services available to them or through an inability to express their needs effectively.