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Rules Board for Courts of Law to Amend Rules

October 8, 2020

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The Rules Board for Courts of Law is considering amending Section E of Uniform Rule 70.

The justice and constitutional development department has called for comment on the proposals.

According to the Rules Board, Section E regulates the taxation of bills of cost.

One proposal is that where a party to whom a bill of costs has been presented makes a written offer of payment in respect of costs and the offer is refused, the party presenting the bill should not be allowed any costs at taxation if the bill is taxed in an amount which is equal to or less than the amount offered.

Another proposal is that the fee for attending a taxation should be made applicable to the settling of a bill of costs.

The Rules Board points out that the proposals have been motivated on the basis that much time is often spent in attempting to settle bills of costs rather than at the actual taxation and that some parties refuse to settle in order to be able to obtain the fee for attendance at taxation.

Comment is sought on which proposals are preferred and whether Section E of Uniform Rule 70 should not be amended as proposed by the role players concerned.

Comment is invited until 25 November 2020.

The Rules Board also seeks comment on benchmarking for increases in the following rules:

• Supreme Court of Appeal Rule 18;
• Uniform Rules 68 and 70;
• Tables A, B and C of Annexure 2 to the Small Claims Courts Rules; and
• Part II of Annexure 2 to the Small Claims Courts Rules.

The increases will apply for the period May 2020 to April 2022.

Comment is sought on alternative factors, criteria and methodologies in addition to the Consumer Price Index that can be considered for the benchmarking and determination of the increase to the tariffs.

Comment is invited until 26 March 2021.