GOOD IDEAS FROM WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WITNESS STATEMENTS, COMMUNICATIONS AND CONFINING THE ISSUES IN DISPUTE IN CIVIL LITIGATION

A while back I wrote a post pointing out guidance on drafting witness statements given by the Western Australian Bar Association.  I am grateful to Australian barrister David Laws for pointing out the new site where this guidance can be found.  That site also has other useful links which remain highly relevant.

THE GUIDANCE

The Western Australian Bar Guides can be found here. 

THE PURPOSE OF THE GUIDES

The Bar Association sets out the purpose of the Guides.

“The purpose of each Guide is to improve civil litigation practice by expressing a clear and concise statement of the practices that should be followed in a particular skill area.  The Guides will emphasise the ethical obligations of lawyers as officers of the court:

  • to ensure that they are not a mere mouthpiece for their clients;
  • to confine a dispute to the issues of importance that will determine the outcome in a case
  • to plead a case for which there is a proper foundation;
  • to refrain from advancing a case for a collateral purpose;
  • to provide disclosure of relevant material; and
  • to present evidence that is frank and free from influence.”

THE THREE GUIDES

Best Practice Guide 01/2009-2011 – Preparing Witness Statements for use in Civil Cases

Best Practice Paper 02/2010 – Communication and Conferral in Civil Litigation

Best Practice Paper 03/2010 – Confining the Issues in Dispute in Civil Litigation