Discovery amendments to CPA

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Discovery, Disclosure and  Other Matters) Act 2014 amends the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic).

The highlights:

  • Sections 50 and 50A: introduce a device called a ‘statement of issues’ which the Court may use to inform pre-trial and trial management.  This would seem to be a statutory extension of the Court’s existing case management powers.
  • Section 55A allows the parties to exchange all documents in their possession or control without waiving privilege, including in electronic format.
  • Section 55B allows the Court to direct a party file an ‘affidavit of document management’.  Section 55C gives the Court the power to compel the deponent to an oral examination.

The most significant change with the potential to deliver real benefits is the last one, although whether its use will be embraced is another matter.