Legal development

Land Court Rules 2022 An updated set of rules for Queenslands Land Court

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    Key Insights

    • This year saw the introduction of a new set of Land Court rules more than two decades after the previous rules came into force. 
    • The Land Court Rules 2022 have been updated to align with Land Court procedures brought in by way of practice directions or legislative amendments. 
    • The new rules also introduce some new concepts, such as a rule providing for costs to be personally payable by a party's lawyer or agent. 

    Key changes

    The raft of changes modernises and updates the rules to bring them into line with Land Court procedures brought in by way of practice directions and legislative amendments.  These changes also introduce some new rules.  Some of the key amendments to the rules relate to:

    • filing of a statement of facts and issues;
    • establishment of the Land Court ADR panel; 
    • expert evidence; 
    • the way in which hearings can be conducted; 
    • the filing, giving, making or issuing of documents electronically;
    • costs payable by a party's lawyer or agent; and
    • disclosure. 

    Statement of facts and issues 

    The new rules require each party to a proceeding to file a statement of facts and issues with the Registry.  The statement of facts and issues must comply with the requirements set out in the new rules.  For example, the statement must be in the approved form and state:

    • all the issues the party considers the Court must decide;
    • all the material facts the party relies on;
    • any conclusion or point of law the party relies on (but only if the party also states the material facts in support of the conclusion or point); and
    • the decision the party wants the Court to make.  

    The previous rules did not provide for the parties to file a statement of facts and issues. 

    Land Court ADR panel

    The new rules provide for the Court to establish a panel of persons to conduct alternative dispute resolution of matters, known as the "Land Court ADR panel".  The new rules also provide for the Court to refer matters to ADR.  

    The Land Court ADR panel was established some time ago, with Practice Directions 1 of 2018 and 4 of 2020 setting out the relevant procedures and practices for the operation of the panel.  This concept has now been brought into the Land Court Rules. 

    Expert evidence

    The new rules broaden the scope of the procedural requirements for expert evidence.  For example, they set out the parameters within which communication between experts and parties may occur while a joint expert meeting is on foot.  Responses to communications by experts must be in writing, addressed to the experts jointly and in terms agreed to by the parties (or as directed by the Court) to ensure transparency and fairness.

    The new rules also provide for the Court to direct that a proceeding be subject to an expert process facilitated by a Court-appointed and appropriately qualified person, known as a convenor.  In essence, the convenor will facilitate the preparation of expert evidence, work with the parties to manage the expert process, work with the experts and assist in case management.  However, there are limits on what a convenor can do.  A convenor is not able to decide any substantive issue or procedural dispute, nor can they preside at a hearing, final hearing or appeal against a decision made in the proceeding.  The Court-directed process for experts set out in the new rules generally reflects the Court managed expert evidence – or "CMEE" – process outlined in Practice Direction 6 of 2020.  


    Consistent with the previous rules, the new rules provide for the Court to dispense with oral hearings in certain circumstances.  The new rules clarify that a proceeding – or an application in a proceeding – is decided without an oral hearing if it is decided on written material and submissions without appearances from the parties.  Oral hearings, however, are still standard and may be conducted (all or in part) by audio visual link, audio link or another form of electronic communication approved by the Court.  

    Filing, giving, making or issuing documents electronically

    The new rules provide for documents to be filed, given, made or issued electronically.  A document filed electronically will be taken to have been filed on the day it is received by the Registry, provided the whole document is received before 4.30pm on a day the Registry is open for business.  Otherwise, it will be deemed to have been filed on the next day the Registry is open for business.  

    Costs payable by a party's lawyer or agent

    The new rules provide for the Court to order a lawyer or agent to repay all or part of any costs order made against their client if the costs were incurred because of the lawyer's or agent's delay, misconduct or negligence.  


    The new rules provide for a party to apply for an order for disclosure, although nothing prevents parties from agreeing to disclose documents by consent.  The application must outline the proposed scope of the disclosure.  

    The new rules also prevent a party from applying for an order for disclosure, unless the order would be in accordance with the main purposes of the rules.  In essence, the main purposes of the rules are to ensure that:

    • proceedings are resolved quickly, fairly and without undue delay, expense and technicality; and
    • parties participate in an expeditious way and comply with the rules and any direction of the Court.

    The previous rules did not address disclosure in detail.  Instead, they referred to Chapter 7 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld), which deals with disclosure. 

    Author: Amaya Fernandez, Senior Associate

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.


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