Practice directions

Filing documents in the registry of the Supreme Court by electronic means



14.1 The Supreme Court intends to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by modern information technology and rules 6(1)(d) and 7(1)(d) provide for the service and filing of documents "(with the consent of the party to be served or at the direction of the Registrar) by electronic means in accordance with the relevant practice direction". This Practice Direction makes the necessary provision.

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Filing of documents

14.2.1 Subject to paragraph 14.4.6, all documents must be filed electronically at the same time as hard copies are sent to the Registry. See rule 7(3) which provides that:
"Except with the consent of the Registrar, the contents of documents

  1. filed in hard copy must also be provided to the Registry by electronic means, and
  2. filed by electronic means must also be provided to the Registry in hard copy."

Other parties should be notified by the filing party that filing has taken place (1).

14.2.2 Each electronic document must be named in accordance with the file naming convention published by the Registrar.

14.2.3 In the event of a mistake being made, the Registry should be notified immediately.

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Submission of electronic documents to the Registry

14.3.1 Unless otherwise directed or permitted by the Registrar, or where the circumstances in paragraph 14.5.5 apply, the means of submitting electronic documents is to email Registry.

14.3.2 Where the Registrar directs or permits, or in accordance with 14.5.5 below, the party should submit the electronic documents to the Registry on a memory stick, clearly marked or labelled with the title of the case and the identity of the party.

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General provisions

14.4.1 A document is not filed until the transmission is received and accepted by the Registry, whatever time it is shown to have been sent.

14.4.2 The time of receipt of a transmission will be recorded electronically on the transmission as it is received.

14.4.3 If a transmission is received after 4pm -

  1. the transmission will be treated as received; and
  2. any document attached to the transmission will be treated (if accepted) as filed, on the next day the Registry is open.

14.4.4 A party sending an e-mail is responsible for ensuring that the transmission or any document attached to it is filed within any relevant time limits.

14.4.5 The Registry will normally reply by e-mail where -

  1. the response is to a message transmitted electronically; and
  2. the sender has provided an e-mail address.

14.4.6 Parties are advised not to transmit electronically any correspondence or documents of a confidential or sensitive nature, as security cannot be guaranteed.

14.4.7 If a document transmitted electronically requires urgent attention, the sender should contact the court by telephone.

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Format of electronic documents for the hearing

14.5.1 Electronic documents for use at the hearing must be prepared in accordance with the following provisions and the parties are encouraged to co-operate in their preparation. The electronic document (which must be identical to the hard copy) should be contained in a single pdf and must be numbered in ascending order throughout. Pagination should begin with the first page of the first document and should be continued throughout the entire series of documents. New pagination must not be used for separate documents or folders within the single pdf. When referring to documents, counsel should first refer to the page number on the electronic version. It will also be necessary, where this is different, to refer to the hard copy bundle number. The hard copy bundles should bear the same page numbering as the electronic document as well as any internal page numbering. This should appear at the foot of the page on the right.

14.5.2 The default display view size on all pages must be 100%. Text on all pages must be in a format that will allow comments and highlighting to be imposed on the text. Bookmarks must be labelled so as to identify the document to which each refers. The bookmark should have the same name or title as the actual document. The index page must be hyperlinked to the pages or documents to which it refers. A sample bundle will be available for Court users from the Registry.

14.5.3 Unless otherwise directed or permitted by the Registrar, core volumes and volumes of authorities must be filed as a single pdf document and bookmarked in accordance with the index so that each individual document can be accessed directly by hypertext link both from the index page and from bookmarks on the left-hand side. Please see the example core volume and accompanying instructions on the Electronic bundle guidelines section of The Supreme Court website (2).

14.5.4 Wherever possible, pdf documents within core volumes and within volumes of authorities and otherwise filed with the Court must be converted to pdf from their original electronic versions rather than scanned as images. Where documents are only available in hard copy and have to be scanned, the resultant pdf files should, where the quality of the scan allows, be subjected to a process of optical character recognition (OCR). This is to enable the documents to be text searchable and annotatable by the Court. Please see the example core volume and accompanying instructions on the Electronic bundle guidelines section of The Supreme Court website (3).

14.5.5 Where electronic core volumes or other individual documents exceed 10 megabytes in size they must be submitted on memory stick, clearly marked or labelled with the title of the case and the identity of the party.

14.5.6 The Registrar may permit filing in a different or additional format (e.g. Excel) for good reason.

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Hypertext linking within documents

14.6.1 The Supreme Court does not intend at this stage to impose detailed requirements as to hypertext linking within documents. However, it wishes to encourage parties to employ hypertext links within documents. In particular, it would be helpful if hypertext links were introduced at the time the core volumes are produced to link:

  1. the statement of facts and issues to documents in the appendix,
  2. written cases to documents in the appendix and to the authorities,
  3. cases to the relevant law reports and to the index of authorities.

14.6.2 The parties should seek to agree on the extent to which hypertext linking is to be used.

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Special directions

14.7 The Registrar may give special directions for the filing of electronic documents to meet the requirements of particular cases or by way of experiment.

  1. The provision of electronic versions of documents is not at present mandatory. Return to footnote 1
  2. Amended Jan 2012 Return to footnote 2
  3. Amended Jan 2012 Return to footnote 3