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Report No. 99

3.20. A compromise between English and American models.-

We hope that the recommendations made in this Chapter will, to some extent, help in effecting a saving of judicial time. In this connection, we are interested to note a suggestion made in a study of the House of Lords1 published some time ago. Here is the relevant passage from the book, which we reproduce here as a matter of information. It describes the present English position and also makes a suggestion for improvement:-

"Under the present system the appellant and the respondent in a House of Lords appeal are obliged to lodge a document called the case which contains a brief outline of the arguments which will be relied upon by the two parties, and a selection of documents, including the writ and transcripts, (or reports) of the judgments delivered in the lower courts. However, unlike the U.S. Supreme Court where the elaborate printed 'briefs' form the basis of the proceedings before the court and oral arguments restricted by a time-limit are regarded merely as a supplement to the brief, the procedure of the House of Lords is geared wholly to oral argument. The case is merely regarded as a useful preliminary statement of the issues involved. Indeed it sometimes appears that their Lordships have not even read it."

1. Louis Bloom-Cooper and Gavin Drewry Final Appeal,(1972),pp. 403, 404.

Oral and Written Arguments in the Higher Courts Back

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