118th Practice Direction update to the Civil Procedure Rules pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic

The new Practice Direction (PD) update pertaining to the extension of time limits in light of the Coronavirus outbreak came into force on 2 April 2020.

In a nutshell, the new update which will cease to have an effect on 30 October 2020, will two fold the time limits that parties have (from 28 to 56 days) to agree for time extensions in respect of time limits in the CPRs, PDs and court orders . Parties can therefore agree to extensions of up to 56 days without the requirement of formally notifying the court (providing the extension does not put a hearing date at risk). Any extension exceeding 56 days must be agreed by the court.

The PD update also provides that the courts are required to take into account the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic when considering such applications, in addition to applications for adjournment and relief from sanction.

PD51ZA further adds clarification to PD51Y (see the 116th update) in saying that an individual seeking authorisation to listen to or view a recording of a hearing may do so by request and is not required to make a formal application under the CPR.

The full text of the 119th update to the Practice Directions can be found on the justice.gov.uk website.

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