THE NEW PRACTICE DIRECTION: THE LIMITATIONS ON THE POWER TO EXTEND TIME BY AGREEMENT AND MAKING AN APPLICATION
Although it is welcome the new Practice direction is a bit disappointing. It does not trust litigators at all (or not very much). Parties can agree extensions of up to 56 days, without permission of the Court, but not beyond that. Extensions beyond 56 days have to be approved by the Court, albeit these will be considered on the papers. It cannot be a good use of judicial time rubber stamping further agreed extensions of time.
PRACTICE DIRECTION 51ZA – EXTENSION OF TIME LIMITS AND CLARIFICATION OF PRACTICE DIRECTION 51Y – CORONAVIRUS
“1. During the period in which this Direction is in force CPR rule.3.8 has effect as if in substitution for the reference to 28 days there was a reference to 56 days.
Any extension of time, whether agreed by the parties or on application by a party, beyond 56 days requires the permission of the court. An application for such permission will be considered by the court on the papers. Any order made on the papers must, on application, be reconsidered at a hearing.”