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118th Practice Direction Update to the Civil Procedure Rules – Coronavirus Pandemic related.

New Practice Direction 51ZA Extension of Time Limits and Clarification of PD51Y

The Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor have signed Practice Direction 51ZA (PD) principally in relation to the extension of time limits during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The PD is effective immediately ie from today, 2 April 2020

The main changes effected by this PD are:

  • Allows the parties to agree an extension up to 56 days without formally notifying the court (rather than the current 28 days), so long as that does not put a hearing date at risk;
  • Any extension of more than 56 days needs to be agreed by the court;
  • The court is required to take into account the impact of the pandemic in considering such applications;
  • The PD also amends the audio and video hearing PD 51Y (the 116th PD Update) by making clear that a person seeking permission to listen to or view a recording of a hearing may do so by request and is not required to make a formal application under the CPR.
  • The PD ceases to have effect on 30October 2020.

The position will remain under review.

For the avoidance of doubt, this PD does not change the operation of the provisions of PD51Z (set out under the 117th PD Update on 27 March 2020) which provides for the 90 days stay concerning possession proceedings.

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