New case added to Queensland litigation guides
All six of the By Lawyers Queensland litigation guides have been updated to provide a link to a recent case on the importance of the ‘Overriding purpose’ provision of the UCPR and the costs sanctions that might apply where it is breached.
The ‘Overriding purpose’
Rule 5 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) provides that the overriding purpose of the rules is to provide for the expeditious resolution of the real issues in civil proceedings at a minimum of expense. That requires the courts to have the objective of avoiding undue delay, expense and technicality.
Under Rule 5 all parties to proceedings impliedly undertake to conduct their case in an expeditious way. Where they breach this undertaking, the court may dismiss the proceedings or apply costs sanctions. Francis v MSF Sugar Limited  QSC 16 is a stark example of the court doing so.
In making indemnity costs orders in favour of the plaintiff in this case, the court noted:
 The defendant has conducted itself in this court quite unreasonably – failing to disclose directly relevant documents until the eve of the trial and pleading matters that were false,
according to its own records, and which it could not prove by admissible evidence. This unreasonable conduct has caused the plaintiff to incur unnecessary costs, including costs
thrown away by yesterday’s adjournment and today’s application and short adjournment. It also likely delayed the determination of the plaintiff’s claim and prevented the matter
resolving on an agreed basis without the need for a trial.
The commentary in each of the By Lawyers Queensland litigation guides already highlights the importance of the Overriding purpose provisions. This useful new case illustrates the court’s approach to compliance with Rule 5 and the possible sanctions that will be applied. it has been added to each of the Acting for the Plaintiff and Acting for the Defendant guides in the By Lawyers Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court publications.