In 2008 the Western Australian Bar Association (WABA) launched its Best Practice Forums. The Forums seek to improve standards by developing practical, simple guides to particular litigation practice skills. They deal with both ethical and practical issues. Participants are be invited to debate the issues in open session after presentation of a discussion paper.

A series of guides will be developed and published by the WABA on topics of civil litigation practice and procedure in Western Australia. The Guides seek to reflect best civil litigation practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, although many of the principles expressed in the Guides will be of more general application.

The purpose of each Guide is to improve civil litigation practice by expressing a clear and concise statement of the practices that should be followed in a particular skill area. The Guides will emphasise the ethical obligations of lawyers as officers of the court:

  • to ensure that they are not a mere mouthpiece for their clients;
  • to confine a dispute to the issues of importance that will determine the outcome in a case
  • to plead a case for which there is a proper foundation;
  • to refrain from advancing a case for a collateral purpose;
  • to provide disclosure of relevant material; and
  • to present evidence that is frank and free from influence.

Annual forums to consider different practice skills are planned for the future.