QBD GuideOn Friday 11 January the Interim Applications Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court issued  “A guide for self-represented litigants”. As many readers will know, the Interim Applications Court (known as ‘Court 37’) deals with applications for orders pending the final trial of a case in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice – in the media context, applications for interim privacy and harassment injunctions.

The guide was written by Mr Justice Foskett, the Liaison Judge for the Interim Applications Court, with assistance from the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Personal Support Unit in the Royal Courts of Justice. The guide explains procedures in the Interim Applications Court and also describes how a court bundle should be put together.

Useful practical points (not always borne in mind by practitioners) include

  • A font-size of not less than 12 should be used (para 17)
  • Skeleton Arguments should be “brief and to the point” (para 18) – the example given in the Appendix is a concise 2 pages
  • The bundle should be paginated – “The pagination does not have to be typed, but it must be clear” (para 25)

The Guide contains the form to be completed for without notice applications – and precedents of a witness statement and Skeleton Argument.

Writing in the guide’s foreword, Sir John Thomas, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, said:

“Although designed for self-represented litigants, we hope that lawyers appearing in this court will consider the contents of the Guide carefully.”

You have been warned!

Dedicated email address for urgent applications

The Interim Applications Court has also set up a dedicated e-mail address through which documents that need to be sent to the Interim Applications Judge as a matter of urgency can be sent. The email address comes with the health warnings that it is to be used only for this purpose and is not a substitute for supplying the court with documentation in paper form, but merely to ensure that the Judge has an opportunity if time permits to read in electronic form documentation which has had to be produced at very short notice where it has not been possible to get the documents to court at an earlier stage. The email address will be monitored on working days from about 9.30am to about 4.30pm and is not available for use out of hours.

The e-mail address is: QBInterimAppCrt@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk