06 Oct Pre-Court Disclosure and Undertaking as to Disclosure
It has always been the case that all parties to a proceeding have an obligation to make full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to the issues in dispute in a timely manner. However, it is now a requirement that each party discloses documents which may contain relevant information to a proceeding prior to the first Court event.
In parenting matters, relevant information may include child reports, medical and criminal records etc, and in financial proceedings it may include evidence of earnings, liabilities, interests in property etc.
Parties are now also required to file an Undertaking as to Disclosure before the first Court date undertaking to the Court that they are aware of their ongoing duty of disclosure and have complied with same, to the best of their knowledge and ability. It Is also an obligation for lawyers to advise their clients of this duty and of the possible consequences of breaching that duty.
Pursuant to the new Rules, Applicants must file together with their initiating Court documents, and Respondents together with their Response Court documents, a Genuine Steps Certificate which notifies the Court that they have complied with the pre-action procedures, with one being the disclosure of relevant documents.