(Practice Direction 54A, §§ 4.5 and 15; Practice Direction 54B, §1.3)
Electronic bundles must be prepared as follows and be suitable for use with all of Adobe Acrobat Reader and PDF Expert and PDF Xchange Editor.
1. A bundle must be a single PDF.
2. If the bundle is filed in support of an urgent application (i.e., an application made using Form N463) it must not exceed 20mb, and (unless the court requests otherwise) should be filed by email
3. If the papers in support of any claim or appeal or non-urgent application exceed 20mb, the party should file:
a. A core bundle (no larger than 20mb) including, as a minimum, the Claim Form and Grounds or Notice of Appeal and Grounds, or Application Notice and Grounds; documents regarded as essential to the claim, appeal, or application (for example the decision challenged, the letter before claim and the response, etc.); any witness statements (or primary witness statement) relied on in support of the claim, appeal or application; and a draft of the order the court is asked to make; and
b. A further bundle containing the remaining documents.
Such bundles should be filed using the Document Upload Centre: see the separate HMCTS “Professional Users Guide” for detailed information about the Document Upload Centre.
4. All bundles must be paginated in ascending order from start to finish. The first page of the PDF will be numbered “1”, and so on. (Any original page numbers of documents within the bundle are to be ignored.) Index pages must be numbered as part of the single PDF document, they are not to be skipped; they are part of the single PDF and must be numbered. If a hard copy of the bundle is produced, the pagination on the hard copy must correspond exactly to the pagination of the PDF.
5. Wherever possible pagination should be computer-generated; if this is not possible, pagination must be in typed form.
6. The index page must be hyperlinked to the pages or documents it refers to. 7. Each document within the bundle must be identified in the sidebar list of contents/bookmarks, by date and description (e.g., “email 11.9.21 from [x] to [y]”). The sidebar list must also show the bundle page number of the document.
8. All bundles must be text based, not a scan of a hard copy bundle. If documents within a bundle have been scanned, optical character recognition should be undertaken on the bundle before it is lodged. (This is the process which turns the document from a mere picture of a document to one in which the text can be read as text so that the document becomes word-searchable, and words can be highlighted in the process of marking them up.) The text within the bundle must therefore be selectable as text, to facilitate highlighting and copying.
9. Any document in landscape format must be rotated so that it can be read from left to right.
10. The default display view size of all pages must always be 100%.
11. The resolution on the electronic bundle must be reduced to about 200 to 300 dpi to prevent delays whilst scrolling from one page to another.
12. If a bundle is to be added to after the document has been filed, it should not be assumed the judge will accept a new replacement bundle because he/she may already have started to mark up the original. Inquiries should be made of the judge as to what the judge would like to do about it. Absent a particular direction, any pages to be added to the bundle as originally filed should be provided separately, in a separate document, with pages appropriately subnumbered.
For guidance showing how to prepare an electronic bundle, see (as an example) this video prepared by St Philips Chambers, which explains how to create a bundle using Adobe Acrobat Pro https://st-philips.com/creating-and-using-electronichearing-bundles/
Any application filed by a legal representative that does not comply with the above rules on electronic bundles may not be considered by a Judge. If the application is filed by a litigant in person the electronic bundle must if at all possible, comply with the above rules. If it is not possible for a litigant in person to comply with the rules on electronic bundles, the application must include a brief explanation of the reasons why.
31 May 2021