The Supreme Court has introduced new procedures for matters in the personal injury lists.
Changes have been made to first directions orders in the four specialist personal injury lists in the Common Law Division with the intention of increasing efficiency, and reducing delays and adjournments.
Personal injury lists
In the Supreme Court, personal injury claims are dealt with in four specialist lists:
- Personal Injuries List
- Dust Diseases List
- Institutional Liability List
- Civil Circuit List
New forms for consent orders
Parties submitting minutes of proposed consent orders in these lists must now use the revised First Directions forms available on the Court’s website and on the matter plan in the By Lawyers Personal Injury (VIC) publication.
- Personal Injuries List: Requests for consent orders – First Directions (form)
- Dust Diseases List: Request for consent orders – First Directions (form)
- Institutional Liability List: Request for consent orders – First Directions (form)
- Civil Circuit List: Request for consent orders – First Directions (form)
The major changes to the standard orders include:
- the ability for the parties to agree to extend or abridge, by consent, the time for interlocutory steps before the post-mediation directions hearing, or, in the case of expedited Dust Diseases List matters, the final directions hearing;
- time for issuing subpoenas and serving supplementary reports and final particulars of special damages;
- when supplementary medical and expert reports can be served close to trial; and
- matters about which the court expects to be informed at the post-mediation directions hearing, including expert evidence.
The personal injury lists are each managed subject to their relevant Practice Note being:
First Directions Hearing
After the defence is filed, the court will contact the parties to arrange a First Directions Hearing.
The court expects a practitioner with conduct of the file, or a good working knowledge of it, to appear at all directions hearings.
The parties are encouraged to submit consent orders to avoid an appearance.
The commentary and matter plan in the by Lawyers Personal Injury (VIC) publication has been updated accordingly.