Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure - Part 3

Substantial changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure come into effect January 1, 2010. This is part 3 of our review of the amendments.

In our last post we discussed r. 29.2, which introduces a proportionality component into discovery. The rules have also been amended to change the test for disclosing documents. The current test is that parties are required to disclose all documents “relating to any matter in issue”. The case law has developed to define this test as anything having a “semblance of relevance” must be disclosed.

The amendment to r. 30 changes the wording: parties must now disclose documents “relevant to any matter in issue”. Until courts have weighed in on what exactly the change from “relating” to “relevant” means, there is some uncertainty. It seems that a relevance test is narrower than the “relating” test, but perhaps the aim is to merely codify the existing “semblance of relevance” test.

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