Major changes imminent for BVI court rules: Get ready for the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules
26 Apr 2023
There will be a significant overhaul of the BVI court rules in July 2023. The new Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules (Revised Edition 2023) will become effective on 31 July 2023. These rules are more than just an update, they will repeal and replace the existing rules.
The new CPR will apply to all proceedings commenced on or after 31 July 2023.
For proceedings commenced prior to 31 July 2023:
- Where a trial date has been fixed, the new CPR will not apply unless the trial date is adjourned. If there is an application to adjourn the trial date, the new CPR will apply from the date on which the adjournment application is heard; and
- Where no trial date has yet been fixed, the court must list a case management conference (CMC) once a defence has been filed and the new CPR will apply from the date of the CMC. Although not dealt with expressly in new CPR 75, it appears that for existing proceedings in which there will be no ‘trial’ (for example, an application for injunctive relief in support of foreign proceedings), the new CPR will not apply.
For proceedings in which the new CPR are not applicable (or are yet to apply), the court may still take them into account when exercising discretion afforded to it under the old rules.
Harneys will provide further updates on the specific changes brought about in the new CPR. Stayed tuned to our Litigation Blog for more on this in the coming days.
Harneys advised on the rule changes and drafting, with Peter Ferrer sitting on the BVI CPR committee.
A copy of the new CPR can be found here.