Court books are an indexed collection of all documents that the parties rely upon in proceedings, collated for convenience of use during a hearing. They are commonly used in all litigation matters and are compulsory in some courts, especially in specialist lists and on appeal.
A court book ordinarily includes all pleadings and evidence. It generally omits any irrelevant documents, even if they were disclosed in the proceedings. For example, a voluminous bundle of documents may have been produced under a subpoena issued by one of the parties in the lead-up to the hearing, but the party only seeks to rely on a few documents out of the bundle. The court book will contain the subpoena itself plus those relevant documents only.
A properly compiled and indexed court book allows solicitors, counsel and the bench to have a common reference point and easily navigate to relevant documents and issues as the hearing proceeds.
Two new precedents for creating court books have been added to every By Lawyers litigation guide in Australia.
The precedents Court book cover page and Court book index are customised for each court in each jurisdiction. They comply with each court’s requirements and will assist practitioners in compiling court books in all types of litigation.