The Civil Rules Committee was established pursuant to the provisions of the Courts of Justice Act to deal with the rules and procedures governing civil proceedings in Ontario. From time to time the chair of the committee, the Honourable Dennis O’Connor, Associate Chief Justice of Ontario, in consultation with the members of the committee, may wish to provide information to members of the public and the bar regarding changes to the rules made or proposed. He may seek feedback from members of the bar or the public regarding such proposed changes.
In November 2007, the report of the Civil Justice Reform Project was released. The “Osborne Report” made many recommendations for the streamlining of procedures in civil litigation designed to increase accessibility, reduce costs and reduce delay. The full text of the report may be reviewed at:
The recommendations made in the report were referred to the Civil Rules Committee for further consideration and implementation. The Rules Committee has been considering the recommendations for some time but, while significant progress has been made, its final product is still a “work in progress”.
Some recommendations were very specific while others were of a more general nature. In some cases, the report set out the general recommendations and results desired but left it to the Rules Committee to “work out the details”. This has led to several suggestions for changes to procedures that are not specifically articulated in the report and may not have been part of the consultation process that led to the report. It is for this reason that the Chair seeks to consult with interested parties in order to determine whether these proposals have sufficient merit (or indeed any merit at all) and support to justify further consideration. Attached are materials with respect to two proposals. One proposal, which deals with the case management rule (r. 77), includes amendments to rules 24.1, 37 and 78. The other proposal deals with the process for obtaining answers to questions at discovery.
Copies of this consultation material have already been forwarded to the legal organizations listed in the covering memorandum. Any members of the bar wishing to express their views should contact one of the organizations listed with their comments. Any member of the public who is not a member of the bar may provide input to one of those organizations listed.
Law Society of Upper Canada
Ontario Bar Association
The Advocates’ Society
County & District Law Presidents’ Association
Carleton Law Association
Essex Law Association
Toronto Lawyers Association
Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Senior Legal Officer
Court of Appeal for Ontario
130 Queen St W.
Toronto M5H 2N5
The deadline for these organizations to forward their comments is Friday, November 14, 2008.