Complete Re-Issue of the Supreme Court Practice Directions

The Supreme Court of Western Australia’s Practice Directions are an essential tool for any litigation practitioner.

The Court recently updated Practice Direction 5.11, which deals with Victim Impact Statements. Whilst doing so, the Court seized the opportunity to also introduce a more significant change to the formatting of the Practice Directions – removing page numbers.

Previously, whenever the Practice Directions were updated, new pages would have to be printed out and inserted into what the had already been printed. This often lead to a situation where page numbers were in accurate, for example you might have two pages numbered ’53’ with different content.

By removing page numbers, all that now needs to be done to update physical copies is to remove the old PD and insert the new updated PD. For example, remove PD 5.11 and insert the new PD5.11.

Some practitioners will be upset at the removal of page numbers, citing that without them the document is impossible or more difficult to navigate. That is a somewhat valid complaint. My response is that in a modern legal practice most practitioners should use an electronic copy in their day-to-day practice. Whilst in Court there is no reason that the electronic copy could not be referred to on a tablet, such an an iPad or Microsoft Surface Pro (as I usually do).

For those of us that do use the electronic portable document format (PDF) copy of the Practice Directions, we get the added benefit of hyperlinks. If you want to view PD 4.7 on Costs and Taxations, you click on “4.7 Costs and Taxations” in the contents page and the document will automatically jump to that page for you.

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