An unexpected event that causes a party to be put at some disadvantage in litigation. Many of the rules of pretrial procedure in the Civil Procedure Rules are designed to prevent surprise. For example, under Part 16 of the Rules matters that might otherwise take the other parties by surprise must be set out in a party's statements of case. Similarly, under Part 32 of the Rules the court will order a party to serve on the other parties any witness statement of the oral evidence which that party intends to rely on in relation to any issues of fact to be decided at trial.
Subjects: Law — Environmental Science.