HIGH COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2014 (C.l. 87)

HIGH COURT (CIVIL PROCEDURE) (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2014 (C.l. 87)

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION: 18th December, 2014.

ENTRY INTO FORCE: 5th March, 2015.

IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred on the Rules of Court Committee by article 33(4) and article 157(2) of the Constitution, these Rules are made this 15th day of December, 2014.

1. Rule 7A of Order 32 inserted

(1) The High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (C. I. 47) referred to in these Rules as the principal enactment is amended in Order 32 by the insertion after rule 7of a new rule 7A.

Case management

7A. (1) When on an application for directions the Court has dealt with all of the matters, the Court shall (a) give directions for the management of the case and set a time table for the taking and giving of directions and the trial; or (b) fix a case management conference and give direction relating to the management of the case as the Court thinks fit.

(2) The parties shall lodge with the Registrar a pre-trial check list four clear days before the date fixed for the case management conference or pre-trial review or both or any other date as the Judge may order.

(3) Where a party has failed to comply with any of the directions given at a case Management conference or a pretrial review or both, the Judge may make any of the following orders:

(a) strike out the action, if the non-complying party is a plaintiff;

(b) strike out the defence and counterclaim as the case may be, if the non-complying party is a defendant;

(c) order any party to pay costs; or

(d) to make any other appropriate order.”

2. Rule 2 of Order 34 amended

The principal enactment is amended in Order 34 by the substitution for subrule (2) of rule 2 of

“(2) As soon as practicable after

(a) the parties have filed the pre-trial check list,

(b) the Court has held a case management conference, or

(c) the Court has held a pre-trial review, the Registrar shall, unless a date for the trial has already been fixed by the Judge issue the parties a notice specifying the date on which the action shall be tried and the notice shall be served at least one month before the date of the trial.”

3. Rule 1 of Order 38 amended

The principal enactment is amended in Order 38 by the substitution for rule 1 of

General rule

  1. Subject to the Constitution, the Evidence Act, 1975 (NRCD 323), these Rules and any other enactment to the contrary, a fact to be proved at the trial of an action by the evidence of the witnesses shall be proved by a trial of their oral evidence given in court.”
4. Rule 3A to 3G of Order 38 inserted

The principal enactment is amended in Order 38 by the insertion of the following rules after rule 3.

Evidence by video link or other means

3A. The Court may allow a witness to give evidence through a video link or by any other means.

Requirement to serve witness statements for use at trial

3B. (1) A witness statement is a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence which that person would be allowed to give orally at the trial.

(2) The Court shall at the application for directions order a party to file and serve on the other parties any witness ba statement of the oral evidence which the party serving the statement intends to rely on in relation to any issues of fact to be ee decided on at the trial.

(3) The Court may give directions at the application for directions as to the order in which a witness statement is to be served.

Statement of truth

3C. A witness statement shall be verified by a statement of truth.

Consequence of failure to serve witness statement

3D. Where a witness statement for use at the trial is not served in respect of an intended witness within the time specified by the Court, the witness shall not be called to give oral evidence unless the Court grants leave.

Use at trial of witness statements which have been served

3E. (1) If a party has served a witness statement and that party wishes to rely at the trial on the evidence of the witness who made’ the statement, that party shall call the witness to give oral evidence unless the Court orders otherwise or that party puts the statement in as hearsay evidence. .

(2) Where a witness is called to give oral evidence under subrule(1), the witness statement of that witness shall stand as the evidence in chief of that witness unless the Court otherwise orders.

(3) A witness giving oral evidence at trial may with the ES permission of the Court give evidence in relation to any new matter which has arisen since the witness statement was served on the 4) other parties.

(4) The Court will grant leave under subrule (3) only if it considers that there is good reason not to confine the evidence of the witness of the witness statement of that witness.

(5) If a party who has served a witness statement does not call the witness to give evidence at the trial or put the witness statement in as hearsay evidence, any other party may put the witness statement in as hearsay evidence.

Cross-examination on a witness statement

3E. A witness called to give evidence at the trial, may be cross-examined on the statement of that witness whether or not the statement or any part of it was referred to during the evidence in chief of that witness.

Use of witness statement for other purposes

3G. (1) Except as provided by this rule, a witness statement may be used only for the purposes of the proceedings in which the witness statement is served. (2) Subrule (1) does not apply if and to the extent that, (a) the witness gives consent in writing for some other use of the witness statement; (b) the Court grants leave for some other use; or (c) the witness statement has been put in evidence at a hearing held in public.”

5. Rule 2A of Order 41 inserted

The principal enactment is amended in Order 41 by the insertion of a new rule 2A.

Delivery of judgment by video link or other means

2A. The Court may deliver a judgment through a video link or by any other means.”’

6. Rule 2 of Order 58 amended

The principal enactment is amended in Order 58 by the substitution for rule 2 of

Nature of commercial claim

(2) A commercial claim is any claim arising out of trade or business transaction that is not less than twenty five thousand Ghana cedis in monetary value or the subject of which has a monetary value of not less than twenty five thousand Ghana cedis and includes any claim relating to

(a) the formation or governance of a business or commercial organisation;

(b) the winding up or bankruptcy of a business organisation or corporate person;

(c) the restructuring of a payment or commercial debt by or to a business or commercial organisation or corporate person;

(d) a business document or contract;

(e)the export or import of goods;

(f)the carriage of goods by sea, air, land or pipeline;

(g) the exploration of oil and gas reserves;

(h) insurance and reinsurance;

(i) banking and financial services;

(j) a business agency;

(k) disputes involving commercial arbitration and other settlement awards;

(l) intellectual property rights, including patent, copyright and trademarks;

(m) tax matters;

(n) commercial fraud;

(o) application under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179); and

(p) any other claim of a commercial nature.”

7. Schedule to C.I. 47 amended

The Schedule to the principal enactment is amended by the insertion after Form 13 of a new Form 13A as set out in the Schedule to these Rules.

SCHEDULE

“FORM 13A

Pre-Trial Check List

[Order 32 rule7A (2)]

[Title as in action]

Pleadings

  1. (a) Do you intend to make any amendment to your pleading?

(b) If so when?

Interrogatories

  1. (a) Are any interrogatories outstanding?

(b) If so, when served and upon whom?

Evidence

  1. (a) Have all orders in relation to expert, factual and hearsay evidence been complied with? If no, specify what remains outstanding.

(b) Do you intend to serve/seek leave to serve any further report or statement? If so, when and what report or statement?

(c) Have all other orders in relation to oral evidence been complied with?

(d) Do you require any further leave or orders in relation to evidence? If so please specify and say when you will apply.

  1. (a) What witnesses of fact do you intend to call? [NAMES]

(b) What expert witnesses do you intend to call? [NAMES]

(c) Will any witness require an interpreter? If so, which interpreter?

Documents

  1. (a) Have all orders in relation to discovery been complied with?

(b) If not, what orders are outstanding?

(c) Do you intend to apply for any further orders relating to discovery?

(d) If so, what and when?

  1. When did you lodge paginated bundles of fully legible documents for the use of counsel and the Court? [DATE]

Dated the.............. day of ...... 20........

Signed: ...........

Legal practitioner for the plaintiff/defendant of ……. for the above-named

plaintiff/defendant whose address is...........

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