On 5 April 2016 a new statutory instrument, SI 255 of 2016, (“the New Rules”) was signed to take effect from 1 October 2016. The New Rules are intended to deal with all Chancery and Non-Jury actions and certain other designated proceedings. The reason for the creation of the new Order 63C to the Rules of the Superior Courts (“RSC”) is to make the conduct of trials more expeditious and cost effective. The New Rules came about following the success of the Commercial List of the High Court in dealing with commercial litigation in an effective way, with the majority of cases being dealt with within a year. The New Rules are intended to extend the case-management powers available in the Commercial Court to the “ordinary” High Court.
Rule 3(1) provides for the appointment of a new list judge and registrar to manage the lists to which the new rules apply. However, the Chief Registrar of the High Court recently advised that “the President of the High Court does not intend to appoint either a list judge or registrar within the meaning of the above rules” for the time being. It should be noted that two full months’ notice will be given before any steps shall be taken regarding the appointment of such a judge or registrar.