Litigant-in-Person Guide to E-bundles
Andrew Granville Stafford, Chair of the Bar Council’s Direct Access Panel, looks at the new guidance on electronic bundles for court hearings.
As a consequence of Coronavirus, more and more court hearings are being held remotely (eg by video conferencing). As a corollary, the civil courts are requiring litigants to provide hearing bundles in PDF format (e-bundles).
The judiciary has provide guidance for litigants-in-person (LiPs) on e-bundling:
·Where the LiP is responsible for preparing the bundle (eg they are the applicant) they should if at all possible comply with the General Guidance on PDF Bundles. That can be found at www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GENERAL-GUIDANCE-ON-PDF-BUNDLES-f-1.pdf
·The General Guidance sets out 12 principles that should be followed. These include:
-Documents should be subject to OCR (optical character recognition) so they are text searchable
-Pagination should be computer generated or typed so page numbers can are searchable
-Page numbers should be preceded by a letter (eg A123) for ease of searching
-Scans should be no greater than 300dpi to avoid slow scrolling or loading
-The index should be hyperlinked to the relevant pages or documents
·If it is not possible to comply with these requirements the LiP should explain why not to the court as far in advance of the hearing as possible. Where possible the litigant in person should identify a practical way of overcoming the problem.
·In cases where the other party is legally represented, the legal representative should consider offering to prepare the e-bundle
·LiPs without financial means may wish to consider approaching an advice centre, law centre or pro bono organisation for help.
In addition to the general guidance found on the internet on create PDF bundles the following is specifically law related:
QEB guide to creating an e-bundle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij2Q-2sq5iI&list=PLPs6vztSaE0gtpFB62vq6tGT6flcRdRof&index=3
Video by St Philips Chambers on creating a bundle using Adobe Acrobat Pro: https://st-philips.com/creating-and-using-electronic-hearing-bundles/