Overarching (riding) Purpose

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 | 2 comments

It is now a month since the start of the 2012 law term and hostilities (in civil litigation) have well and truly resumed. Having already had matters in both state and federal jurisdictions I was reflecting on the “subtle” differences in the case management principles in each. Section 37M(1) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) provides that:

“The overarching purpose of the civil practice and procedure provisions is to facilitate the just resolution of disputes:

(a)  according to law; and

(b)  as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible.”

Section 37M(2) then goes on to state the objectives are the just determination of matters, efficient use of resources and disposal of proceedings in a timely manner.

By contrast, s 37M’s state counterpart, which is found in section 56(1) of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) states that:

The overriding purpose of this Act and of rules of court, in their application to a civil dispute or civil proceedings, is to facilitate the just, quick and cheap resolution of the real issues in the dispute or proceedings.”

The requirement is not, contrary to what some practitioners think: just cheap …..and quick!

Creative commons attribution for the photograph.


  1. Paul,
    Interestingly, s.56(1) of the NSW Act when looked at in Astlii does not seem to have the words “…to a civil dispute.. ” Please enlighten me as to where you got your version of the section.
    Gino Russo Burwood 9745-3611

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