Announcement : Practice Note No. 31 - Production of and Access to Summonsed Material

22 July 2014

The Commission has issued a Practice Note in relation to the production of and access to summonsed material that also deals with the return of exhibits and summonsed material. The new Practice Note will take effect from 18 July 2014.

The purposes of Practice Note 31 are to inform the parties:

      • of their ability to nominate, on the summons document before filing, a convenient return date for the summons;
      • of the need to endorse a proposed access order on the summons and the procedure that applies in that regard;
      • of the Commission’s preferred practice in relation to the format of documents being produced in response to a summons;
      • of the Commission’s practice in relation to accessing summoned material produced in an electronic format; and
      • and Summons recipients of the Commission’s practice in relation to returning exhibits and summoned material.

Practice Note 31 has significant potential to reduce the costs to parties through
    1. making it mandatory for parties to include on the summons documentation proposed access orders. This is the access order that is proposed by the issuing party of the subpoena, for example, ”The issuing party to have first access for 7 days; thereafter, in the absence of any further application, access to all parties”. If there is no objection to the proposed access order at the return of subpoena, the order will automatically take effect from the day following the return of subpoena, thus avoiding the need for the parties to attend court and the inherent costs involved in that process.
    2. making clear that the Commission’s preference is for summonsed documents to be filed in electronic format reducing the need for parties to attend and photocopy documents and speeding up the process of access to summonsed documents.

The Commission has also prepared a Guide to assist unrepresented litigants who may need to issue a summons to obtain documents. That Guide can be accessed below.

The Commission has also aligned its Summons Forms to those under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

Practice Note 31

Guide to issuing Summons to Produce or to give Evidence

There are three forms for the different types of summons:
    • A summons to attend to give evidence ( Form 40 )
    • A summons to produce ( Form 41 )
    • A summons to attend to give evidence and to produce ( Form 42 )

Industrial Registrar