Heading to court? What are your obligations under the Civil Procedure Act?

Mar 20, 2024

Parties to civil court proceedings and their lawyers are bound by overarching obligations under sections 16 – 27 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) (Act).

These obligations include a duty to act honestly, to ensure all claims and defences have a proper basis, to not mislead or deceive, to ensure costs are reasonable and proportionate to the claim and the dispute, and to minimise delay.

If the Court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has contravened any of the overarching obligations, it may under section 29 of the Act make any order it considers appropriate in the interests of justice – even if the breach was inadvertent.

A Court can order the person who has contravened the obligations to:

  • pay some or all of the legal costs or other expenses of any person arising from the contravention;
  • compensate any person for any financial or other loss which was materially contributed to by the contravention; and
  • take steps specified in the order which are reasonably necessary to remedy the contravention.

By conscientiously adhering to the overarching obligations under the Act, lawyers not only safeguard their own interests but also uphold the integrity of the legal process.

Parties to court proceedings must be aware of and adhere to their overarching obligations to the Court, including those arising under the Act.

If you need assistance with issuing or defending a claim, our litigation and dispute resolution team is here to help.