Jul 26, 2010, 5:26 PM
COURTS ACT (CAP. 6:01)
HIGH COURT (AMENDMENT) RULES, 2009
IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred on the Rules Committee under section 55 of the Courts Act, these Rules are hereby made.
1. These Rules may be cited as the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2009.
2. The High Court Rules, as amended, (in these Rules RS referred to as "the Rules) are further amended as set out in these Rules.
3. The Second Schedule to the Rules is amended - the Rules (a) in Order II, rule 1, by substituting for sub-rule (1), the following new sub-rule-
"(1) Except for suits to be heard on the undefended list, a civil suit commenced by a writ of summons shall be accompanied by- (a) a statement of claim which complies with Order XXIII;
(b) affidavits of statements or testimonies of persons the plaintiff intends to call to testify during the trial; and
(c) the documents plaintiff relies on or intends to rely on in the trial of the suit:"
(b) in Order XXIII, by substituting for rule 16, the following new rule-
"The statement of claim, affidavits of statements or testimonies and other document shall be filed and served on the defendant pleadings.
(2) On being served as specified in sub-rule (1) of this rule, the defendant shall, within this days from the date of service, file a statement of defence which shall be accompanied by-
(a) affidavits of statements or testimonies of persons the defendant intends to call to testify during the trial; and
(b) all the documents the defendant relies on or intends to rely on in the trial of the suit.
(3) Where a defendant fails to file a statement of defence within the time specified in sub-rule (2) of this rule, the Court may, on the defendant's application if it deems it fit, grant the defendant a further period of fourteen days within which to comply.
(4) If the defendant fails to file the statement of defence within the fourteen days granted in sub- rule (3)-
(a) the defendant shall not be allowed further time to file a defence and he or she shall be deemed to have no defence to the case; and the Court shall proceed to determine the case on the basis of the plaintiff's statement of claim.
(5) A person shall not be allowed to testify as a witness in the trial of a suit unless the affidavit of the person's statement or testimony is filed together with the writ of summons or statement of defence, or has previously been filed and served on the other parties to the suit.
(6) A document shall not be admitted in evidence, used at the trial of the suit or regarded as part of the evidence unless it was filed together with the writ of summons or statement of defence, or has previously been filed and served on the other parties to the suit.
(7) After the filing of the statement of defence and the accompanying documents as prescribed in sub-rule (2) of this rule and the service of the same on the plaintiff, the Judge shall appoint a date for a pre-trial conference of all the parties to the suit and cause a notice of the date and time of the pre-trial conference to be served on all the parties.
(8) At the pre-trial conference, the Judge shall -
(a) hear and determine any objection to the suit on such grounds as lack of jurisdiction, illegality, incompetence, non-disclosure of cause of action, abuse of process or being frivolous;
(b) hear and determine any objection to the admissibility of any evidence in the documents filed by the parties;
(c) settle the issues for trial, ensuring that only contentious issues go for trial;
(d) consider the possibility of an amicable settlement of the claim;
(e) fix a time frame for the trial; and
(f) fix the costs payable by a party for an adjournment or any other form of delay in the trial caused by a party to the suit.
(9) An objection to admissibility of documents or affidavits filed by a party shall be raised at the pretrial conference and not at any other time during the trial.
(10) An appeal against a decision made by the Judge during the pre-trial conference shall not operate or be relied on to stay the trial or proceedings of the suit.
(11) An application for stay of the trial or proceedings of a suit pending the determination of an appeal against a decision made by the Judge during a pre-trial conference shall not be allowed.
(c) in Order XXXV, by substituting for rules 3, 4, 8 and 10, the following new rules-
(1) Before a party commences to call his or her witnesses during the trial of the suit, the party shall adopt, as the evidence of his or her witnesses in examination-in-chief, the affidavits of statements or testimonies previously filed.
(2) On the adoption of the affidavits, they shall constitute evidence-in-chief.
(3) The party who adopts the affidavits shall call, and make available for cross-examination, the person whose statement or testimony has been adopted.
(4) Where a person whose statement or testimony has been adopted is not called or made available for cross-examination, hais or her affidavit shall cease to have effect as part of the evidence in the case and shall be expunged from the records.
3A. (1) Before a party commences to call his or her witnesses in the trial of a suit, the party shall adopt, as part of his or her evidence, documents previously filed.
(2) On adoption of the documents, they shall constitute documentary evidence adduced in the case.
3B. (1) Immediately after the adoption of the affidavits of statements or testimonies of witnesses and documents previously filed, a party shall produce in Court all the real evidence or objects, such as computers and accessories, tapes and other electronic devices, referred to in the party's pleadings, statements or testimonies of witnesses and documents, as the case may be.
(2) The party producing real evidence shall apply, without calling a witness, that the items of real evidence be admitted as part of the evidence in the case.
(3) An objection to the admissibility of any real evidence shall be argued and determined at the time the evidence is tendered for admissibility.
(4) If no objection is made or if an objection fails, the Court shall order that the real evidence produced form part of the evidence in the case.
(5) An application to stay the trial or proceedings of the suit pending the determination of an appeal against the decision on the objection shall not be allowed.
4. If the other party does not intend to call evidence, the party beginning shall be entitled, at the conclusion of his or her case, to sum up the evidence already given and comment on it.
8. If the other party calls evidence, the part beginning shall be at liberty to reply generally on the whole case.
Where no 10. Where a matter arises for which no provision is made under this Order, the Court made shall adopt such procedure as shall do sub- under this substantial justice to the case.
(d) in Order XLI, by substituting for rule 1, the following new rule-
"Power 1. A Judge may review a judgement or of review decision given by him or her on the following grounds only-
(a) to correct a typographical error or omission;
(b) to correct an inadvertent error in the use of words or figures; or
(c) to set aside or nullify the judgement or decision for lack of jurisdiction, illegality or unconstitutionality which was unknown to the Court during the trial."
MADE this 14th day of September, 2009