The next big litigation trend in 2019? There’s no doubt the answer lies with the new commercial court in Gauteng. The court’s official existence and applicable practice directives were announced in October by Dunstan Mlambo, the judge president of the Gauteng division of the high court. And some cases are already in the pipeline, making their way to settlement or a hearing. The court is envisaged as a dynamic operation, with disputes case-managed by the judge or judges likely to hear the matter when it gets to court. Case management, already delivering good results in jurisdictions like Namibia, allows for the resolution of particular matters before trial, making the actual court hearing quicker and more focused. During meetings with the parties, the judge helps clarify a timetable, witness statements and exchange of documents, with agreed deadlines to keep the pretrial process moving efficiently towards the hearing. Mlambo’s vision is of a court offering efficient and faster resolu...

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