Discovery e-news | Issue 4

Issue 4 | October 2010   View original format

The month in summary

This month, the ALRC Discovery team headed to Melbourne for a further round of consultations.  We met with the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, which had previously convened a seminar on discovery in August 2007.  The material coming out of that seminar provides us with excellent food for thought.  We also consulted with a number of legal practitioners in Melbourne, some of whom have particular expertise in international arbitration.  The procedures adopted for an Arbitral Tribunal provide an interesting basis of comparison for the disclosure of documents in court proceedings.  Finally, we visited Monash University to speak with legal academics.  Among other things, we discussed the ethical duties on lawyers and litigants in the context of discovery.  These consultations are an invaluable part of the ALRC’s work and we are always grateful to those who give up their time to assist us.
Also this month the ALRC welcomed a new intern from Harvard University who will be working on the Discovery Inquiry.
The ALRC continues to work up a Consultation Paper on discovery for release in October, and is planning a number of events around its launch. 
Meanwhile, the ALRC maintains its Discovery Blog. In September we posted about pre-action protocols, and the current topic is pre-trial oral examinations (see below).  Our blog is an important means of reaching stakeholders and gathering input in our inquiry.  We are keen to know your thoughts on these issues, or any other concerns relating to discovery, and invite you to contribute to the blog.

Discuss: Alternatives to Discovery — pre-trial oral examinations

Our last post considered pre-action requirements for the exchange of information and documents as an alternative to Discovery (which we’re still keen to hear more feedback on).  Another alternative to Discovery is pre-trial oral examination—widely known in the United States as an oral deposition. This involves an out-of-court question and answer session under oath or affirmation in advance of a lawsuit as part of the discovery process, the purpose of which is …  Read the complete post on the Discovery blog and contribute to discussion >>