A SECOND POST ABOUT BUNDLES OF AUTHORITIES: SORTING OF AUTHORITIES BY ALPHABETICAL ORDER NOT HELPFUL: COMMENTS FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL TODAY

The Court of Appeal adjourned the hearing today in Swift -v- Carpenter.  Looking at the footage at 1.04 you can see a comment by the court in relation to the bundle of authorities.

 

THE BUNDLE WAS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER AND THIS DIDN’T HELP

The court commented that the bundle had been put in alphabetical order.  A Law Commission Report had been placed under “L”.  The court clearly found this unhelpful.   The judges clearly wanted to work through the authorities in chronological (or at least some kind of logical) order.  The alphabetical sorting of cases had not been seen before and was not found to be helpful.

HOW IS THIS TO BE DONE?

There is no express guidance as to how the authorities bundle should be presented.   Practice Direction 52C states:

(1) After consultation with any opposing advocate, the appellant’s advocate must file a bundle containing photocopies of the authorities upon which each party will rely at the hearing.

(2) The most authoritative report of each authority must be used in accordance with mandatory requirements set out in paragraphs 5–13 of the Practice Direction on Citation of Authorities [2012] 1 WLR 780 and must have the relevant passages marked by a vertical line in the margin.

(3) Photocopies of authorities should not be in landscape format and the type should not be reduced in size.

(4) The bundle should not–

(a) include authorities for propositions not in dispute; or

(b) contain more than 10 authorities unless the issues in the appeal justify more extensive citation.

(5) A bundle of authorities must bear a certificate by the advocates responsible for arguing the case that the requirements of sub-paragraphs (2) to (4) of this paragraph have been complied with in respect of each authority included.

 

Alphabetical presentation clearly does not find favour with the court.  This may be a matter of judgment for the advocates.  Chronological order, or order of importance in terms of the arguments may find more favour.