‘Tis the season, blah, blah, blah…Peace on earth and goodwill to all men…
When I first started out as a solicitor, raring to do justice, defending the underdog, and protecting the innocent, (the usual), I was struck with a variety of differing rules and regulations dependent upon the jurisdiction of specific courts to deal with various matters. The County Court had the green book. The High Court had the white book.
Lord Justice Wolf, then set in motion the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (‘CPR’), which had, in turn, an impact upon the criminal jurisdictions, namely the Criminal Procedure Rules, and the family courts, the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (‘FPR’). It is natural therefore that the rules and culture would adapt and evolve in time, tailor-made to family law or civil litigation as the case may be. Every so often, one or the other jurisdiction re-considers developments to their respective system as to whether it can be incorporated.
I practice in a number of jurisdictions including the commercial, criminal, family, and children: private law jurisdictions. I am frequently surprised that those solicitors and barristers, who practice specialist subjects in certain jurisdictions, are not aware of the rules of other jurisdictions, and developments of law and case law on certain issues. So often, jurisdictions overlap on issues which can be determined in courts (i.e. fraud in civil and criminal courts; property disputes involving family homes in both civil and family law jurisdictions).