The Civil Court Practice 2020 (The Green Book)

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The full text of The Civil Court Practice (The Green Book), including commentary and all Pre-action Protocols, Court Guides, the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 with Practice Directions and authoritative guidance on practice and procedure in specialist jurisdictions. Content: Part I Procedure in the Civil Courts; Part II General Jurisdiction; Part III Special Jurisdiction of the Civil Courts.

April 2020


The text has been updated to fully incorporate all of the recent changes to the CPR and accompanying Practice Directions.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: We have added a new section to Part III setting out relevant extracts from the Coronavirus Act 2020 (ss 81 and 82 and Sch 29) and have added to the 'Appeals to the Supreme Court' section in Part I the advice and guidance for Court users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as set out on the UK Supreme Court's website. In addition, we have added the new coronavirus-related Practice Directions:
• Practice Direction 51Y—Video or Audio Hearings during Coronavirus Pandemic
• Practice Direction 51Z—Stay of Possession Proceedings, Coronavirus
• Practice Direction 51ZA—Extension of time limits and clarification of Practice Direction 51Y—Coronavirus

The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020 amend the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 by—
• amending rule 12.3 to clarify the meaning of the rule as being that an acknowledgment of service or a defence will be a bar to the entry of judgment in default so long as it is filed before judgment is entered;
• amending rule 52.22(1) to make it clear that the court may have a ‘rolled-up’ hearing of both substantive issues and costs issues notwithstanding the general rule that a Part 36 offer (to settle the claim) should not to be referred to in the appeal proceedings until all issues other than costs have been determined;
• amending rule 52.24 and rule 54.1 to allow for court staff who are Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (as well as those who are barristers or solicitors) to be able to be authorised to perform certain functions of the court;
• amending rule 53.2 to make clear how the Judge in Charge of the Media and Communications List is appointed;
• amending rule 55.11 and substituting a revised rule for rule 55.12 to remove demoted tenancies and oral tenancy agreements, cases involving which are now rare, from the accelerated possession process;
• amending Part 73 to enable legal advisers (court officers with certain legal qualifications), in certain circumstances, to make final charging orders, discharge interim charging orders, or otherwise refer the matter to a judge. Decisions of a legal adviser may be reconsidered by a District Judge. The provisions replace Practice Direction 51T – The County Court Legal Advisers Pilot Scheme – Final Charging Orders. A consequential amendment is made to rule 45.8.

The 113th Update to Practice Directions makes the following amendments:
• PD 16 - Credit Hire modifications: in response to a CPRC consultation of June 2017, and are intended to reinforce the requirement to plead specific matters in credit hire cases.
• PD 22 and PD 32 - Statements of Truth and Witness translation: together these amendments represent a package of changes to address the issue of cases where a witness statement is presented in English but where, notwithstanding signature of the statement, the witness cannot speak English and the statement is not necessarily ‘in their own words’. The changes aim to make it possible for such cases to be identified much earlier in the process. Additional changes to PD22 require a statement of truth to be dated with the date that it is signed; the required wording of the actual statement of truth is also amended to include a warning that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against those who give a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.
• PD 44 - Costs: following the case of Brown v CPM [2019] EWCA Civ 1724 (at paragraph 57 of the judgment) regarding the possibility of enforcing an order for costs for personal injury claims, in ‘mixed’ claims. The court in Brown considered the wording of paragraph 12.6 of Practice Direction 44 to be wrong and to require urgent amendment. The amendment changes the reference to proceedings being ones ‘to which rule 44.16 applies’ with a narrower and more accurate reference to proceedings to which one of two specific provisions in issue apply.
• PD51O - Extension of E-working Pilot: extends the duration of the Electronic Working Pilot Scheme PD51O for a year from April 2020 to April 2021.
• PD52A - Routes of Appeal: a package of amendments concerning appeals. The first amendment is directed to the issue raised by Topping v Ralph [2017] EWHC 1854 to restore the general principle that the destination of an appeal is governed by the rank of Judge who dealt with the case at first instance; and the second removes the restriction limiting the class of judge able to deal with directions and applications to those able to hear the appeal.
• PD52D - Bar Standards Board: updates the reference to the rules under which decisions of the Bar Standards Board which are being appealed were made, so that it refers to the new Qualification Rules.
• Proceedings Under Enactments Relating to Equality PD: follows concerns that the provision for notification to be provided to the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, intended to benefit claimants by allowing for the possibility of intervention or other support by the Commission, should not result in a sanction against a claimant who failed to comply with the requirement.
• Other minor/consequential amendments: to PD2B to omit paragraph 16 (Appeals) in consequence of the changes to PD52A above; to PD2E and PD51R being consequential amendments resulting from the change in the SI above regarding CILEX Fellows; to PD7E which is a minor amendment to include an updated email address and to omit PD51T as a consequence of the change in the SI above to move the provisions of the pilot PD into the mainstream rules.

The 114th Update to Practice Directions provides for changes to PD 51R Online Civil Money Claims (OCMC) Pilot as follows:
• Extension of powers: Judges within the pilot will be able to consider form OCON180 (the online Directions Questionnaires) and give appropriate directions. Legal advisors already consider form OCON180, where the value of the claim is £300 or less, in consequence, it was considered appropriate for Judges to act in relation to claims above that value and up to £1,000;
• Statements of Truth (contempt warning) Wording: the form of statements of truth set out in paragraph 13.1(1) and (2) will include a statement that the statement maker understands that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without honest belief in its truth;
• Increase the number of pilot courts: legal advisers will be able to consider an increased number of online Directions Questionnaires (form OCON180), by increasing the list of ‘preferred courts’ that could be named on a party’s form OCON180, triggering consideration by a legal advisor. Table 1A within the new paragraph 20.1(1)(c) of PD51R sets out the list of courts and their respective commencement dates;
• Moves the online admissions process out of ‘new features’ into the main pilot; the effect is that the online admissions process will be generally available to those using the pilot, rather than only to selected parties, which was necessary for initial live testing;
• Streamlines some terminology in the PD; and
• Requires statements of truth to be dated.

The 115th Update to Practice Directions provides for changes to PD 51V Video Hearing Pilot Scheme as follows:
• Recommences the Video Hearings Pilot, which was set up to test a procedure for applications to set aside default judgments entered under CPR Part 12 to be heard by the court via an internet-enabled video link (‘a video hearing’) in Birmingham or Manchester Civil Justice Centres. The original pilot ran from 30th November 2018 to 30th November 2019.
• HM Courts & Tribunal Service is keen to continue testing hearings to allow them to gain further insight into users’ experience of a fully video hearing. The terms of the new PD are fundamentally the same as the existing PD51V, save for one change, that an ‘opt out’ rather than an ‘opt in’ condition is incorporated for represented parties.
• The PD Update allows for the pilot to run to 30 November 2020.

In addition, the Housing Disrepair PAP (the Disrepair PAP) has been updated to include limited amendments consequent on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. As Wales does not have the Fitness For Habitation Act, Wales retains the old Repair PAP and England alone gets the new PAP.

These statutory updates are accompanied by revised and updated commentary, with explanation, clarification and details of new cases decided.


Professor Adrian Zuckerman Professor of Civil Procedure at the University of Oxford; Editor of the Civil Justice Quarterly Editorial board member
 Ashley Roughton Barrister, Hogarth Chambers Editorial board member
 Chris Lethem Editorial board member
Master Colin Campbell Master of the Senior Courts Costs Office Editorial board member
David di Mambro , LLB (Hons) (Lond), MCI Arb Of the Middle Temple, Barrister, Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, and a member of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee Senior contributing editor
 David Willink Editorial board member
DISTRICT JUDGE HENRIETTA MANNERS , Shoreditch & Clerkenwell County Court Editorial board member
DISTRICT JUDGE STEPHEN E ROGERS , Court of Protection Regional Judge Editorial board member
 Dov Ohrenstein Editorial board member
 Elizabeth Jeary Editorial board member
HIS HONOUR JUDGE PUGSLEY , Circuit Judge and formerly Chairman of Employment Tribunals Editorial board member
Master Jason Rowley Costs Judge Editorial board member
 Laura Bolado Editorial board member
 Louise di Mambro General editor
LYDIA SEYMOUR , BA (Oxon) Of the Inner Temple, Barrister Editorial board member
 Lynne Knapman Barrister, Head of the Administrative Court Office and Deputy Registrar of the Criminal Appeals Office Editorial board member
MASTER BOWLES , A Master of the Supreme Court, Chancery Division Editorial board member
MASTER LESLIE , A Master of the Supreme Court, Queens Bench Division, a Bencher of the Middle Temple, former member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee (1997-2002) and a former member of the working party on Practice Directions (19972000) Editorial board member
 Nicholas Bacon QC Editorial board member
 P. K. J. Thompson QC General editor
 Robert Pearce QC Editorial board member
 Stephen Jones Editorial board member
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Moore-Bick Consulting editor