New test devised for assessing relief from court sanctions

The courts have adopted a new test to assess applications for relief from sanctions, which demonstrates a more reasonable approach than used recently. However, it remains important to ensure compliance.

During litigation, courts often impose sanctions upon parties when they fail to comply with court rules, orders or deadlines, and in recent months (following the case of Mitchell) the application of this has become extremely strict. A party may apply to court to be relieved from a sanction if one has been imposed, but courts have been very reluctant to grant relief except for where extraordinary circumstances have led to the party’s failure of compliance.

The Court of Appeal has now devised a three-stage test that courts will use when considering whether to grant an application for relief from a sanction…

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