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Find out about how the changes affect you.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has new rules relating to court file inspections and affidavits.

The changes are brought about by the Supreme Court (Chapter I (Inspection and Affidavits) Amendment) Rules 2021, which operate to amend Orders 28 (file inspection) and 43 (affidavits) of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015.

File inspections – What has changed?

Evidentiary documents, including affidavits, exhibits to affidavits, witness statements, expert reports, written submissions, outlines of argument and chronologies, are not available for inspection until they have been read or relied on in open court, or for an application determined without a hearing.

Prior to a hearing or determination, parties to proceedings will be required to provide details to the Court of any evidentiary documents they intend to rely on. There is no change to the process for submitting a file search request in RedCrest and writs, statements of claim, orders and other documents that are not evidentiary documents will still be available for search.

Affidavits – What has changed?

Multiple exhibits or separate affidavits and exhibits will no longer be accepted. Affidavits and exhibits are required to be filed as a single, paginated document with a maximum one exhibit. Users may submit an exhibit bundle if more than one document is referred to in the affidavit. Only one exhibit certificate is required. These requirements do not extend to affidavits filed with the Registrar of Probates, which remain unchanged.

Practice Note and Notice to Profession

Practice Note SC Gen 20 Inspection of Civil Court Files by Non-Parties and Notice to the Profession (Changes to File Inspections and Affidavits) detail the changes and how they apply in the Common Law Division and Commercial Court.

Published on 01 October 2021