n South African Law Journal - Protecting parties from ambush : some recommendations on discovery in children's court litigation : notes
|Article Title||Protecting parties from ambush : some recommendations on discovery in children's court litigation : notes|
|© Publisher:||Juta Law Publishing|
|Journal||South African Law Journal|
|Affiliations||1 University of KwaZulu-Natal and 2 University of KwaZulu-Natal|
|Publication Date||Jan 2011|
|Pages||632 - 642|
Pre-trial discovery for achieving the disclosure of evidence between parties is commonly utilised in civil litigation. Each party has the right to call on others to specify which relevant documents and other recorded evidence they possess and/or intend to use at the trial. In instances where the rules of procedure allow it, they may also be required to reveal such evidence for inspection and copying. Thus, the purpose of discovery is to permit 'each party knowledge of, and eventual access to' evidentiary material 'in possession of an opposing party that might be relevant to the trial' (S Peté, D Hulme, M du Plessis & O Sibanda Civil Procedure: A Practical Guide (2011) 227 (hereafter 'Peté et al')). This avoids parties being taken by surprise, fosters transparency and co-operation, and eliminates disputes where evidence is unassailable (Durbach v Fairway Hotel Ltd 1949 (3) SA 1081 (SR) at 1083; Peté et al op cit at 227). It also saves expense and court time by avoiding adjournments and other delays, narrows the issues in dispute, and is conducive to matters being resolved on the merits and not as a result of tactical manoeuvrings (Law Reform Commission of Western Australia 'Disclosure' (Chapter 13) in Review of the Criminal and Civil Justice System in Western Australia (Project 92) (1999) available at http://www.lrc.justice.wa.gov.au/2publications/reports/P92-CJS/finalreport/ch13disclosure.pdf, accessed on 25 April 2011).
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