Civil Procedure Act 1997

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1997 c. 12


Civil Procedure Act 1997

1997 CHAPTER 12

An Act to amend the law about civil procedure in England and Wales and for connected purposes.

[27th February 1997]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Rules and directions

Rules and directions

S-1 Civil Procedure Rules.

1 Civil Procedure Rules.

(1) There are to be rules of court (to be called ‘Civil Procedure Rules’) governing the practice and procedure to be followed in—

(a) the civil division of the Court of Appeal,

(b) the High Court, and

(c) county courts.

(2) Schedule 1 (which makes further provision about the extent of the power to make Civil Procedure Rules) is to have effect.

(3) The power to make Civil Procedure Rules is to be exercised with a view to securing that the civil justice system is accessible, fair and efficient.

S-2 Rule Committee.

2 Rule Committee.

(1) Civil Procedure Rules are to be made by a committee known as the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, which is to consist of—

(a) the Master of the Rolls,

(b) the Vice-Chancellor, and

(c) the persons currently appointed by the Lord Chancellor under subsection (2).

(2) The Lord Chancellor must appoint—

(a) one judge of the Supreme Court,

(b) one Circuit judge,

(c) one district judge,

(d) one person who is a Master referred to in Part II of Schedule 2 to the Supreme Court Act 1981 ,

(e) three persons who have a Supreme Court qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 ), including at least one with particular experience of practice in county courts,

(f) three persons who have been granted by an authorised body, under Part II of that Act, the right to conduct litigation in relation to all proceedings in the Supreme Court, including at least one with particular experience of practice in county courts,

(g) one person with experience in and knowledge of consumer affairs, and

(h) one person with experience in and knowledge of the lay advice sector.

(3) Before appointing a judge of the Supreme Court under subsection (2)(a), the Lord Chancellor must consult the Lord Chief Justice.

(4) Before appointing a person under paragraph (e) or (f) of subsection (2), the Lord Chancellor must consult any body which—

(a) has members who are eligible for appointment under that paragraph, and

(b) is an authorised body for the purposes of section 27 or 28 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

(5) The Lord Chancellor may reimburse the members of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee their travelling and out-of-pocket expenses.

(6) The Civil Procedure Rule Committee must, before making or amending Civil Procedure Rules—

(a) consult such persons as they consider appropriate, and

(b) meet (unless it is inexpedient to do so).

(7) The Civil Procedure Rule Committee must, when making Civil Procedure Rules, try to make rules which are both simple and simply expressed.

(8) Rules made by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee must be signed by at least eight members of the Committee and be submitted to the Lord Chancellor, who may allow or disallow them.

S-3 Section 2: supplementary.

3 Section 2: supplementary.

(1) Rules made and allowed under section 2 are to—

(a) come into force on such day as the Lord Chancellor may direct, and

(b) be contained in a statutory instrument to which the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 is to apply as if it contained rules made by a Minister of the Crown.

(2) A statutory instrument containing Civil Procedure Rules shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-4 Power to make consequential amendments.

4 Power to make consequential amendments.

(1) The Lord Chancellor may by order amend, repeal or revoke any enactment to the extent he considers necessary or desirable in consequence of—

(a) section 1 or 2, or

(b) Civil Procedure Rules.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may by order amend, repeal or revoke any enactment passed or made before the commencement of this section to the extent he considers necessary or desirable in order to facilitate the making of Civil Procedure Rules.

(3) Any power to make an order under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(4) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (1) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5) No order may be made under subsection (2) unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-5 Practice directions.

5 Practice directions.

(1) Practice directions may provide for any matter which, by virtue of paragraph 3 of Schedule 1, may be provided for by Civil Procedure Rules.

(2) After section 74 of the County Courts Act 1984 there is inserted—

Practice directions

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