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The parties should bear in mind the overriding principle of proportionality (see rule 1.1(2)(c)).
It may, for example, be reasonable to decide not to search for documents coming into existence before some particular date, or to limit the search to documents in some particular place or places, or to documents falling into particular categories.
4.2 The disclosure statement should: (1) expressly state that the disclosing party believes the extent of the search to have been reasonable in all the circumstances, and (2) in setting out the extent of the search (see rule 31.10(6)) draw attention to any particular limitations on the extent of the search which were adopted for proportionality reasons and give the reasons why the limitations were adopted, e.g.
the difficulty or expense that a search not subject to those limitations would have entailed or the marginal relevance of categories of documents omitted from the search.
In addition to documents that are readily accessible from computer systems and other electronic devices and media, the definition covers those documents that are stored on servers and back-up systems and electronic documents that have been‘deleted’.
It also extends to additional information stored and associated with electronic documents known as metadata.
5.5 An order for specific disclosure may in an appropriate case direct a party to – (1) carry out a search for any documents which it is reasonable to suppose may contain information which may– (a) enable the party applying for disclosure either to advance his own case or to damage that of the party giving disclosure; or (b) lead to a train of enquiry which has either of those consequences; and (2) disclose any documents found as a result of that search.5.3 The grounds on which the order is sought may be set out in the application notice itself but if not there set out must be set out in the evidence filed in support of the application.5.4 In deciding whether or not to make an order for specific disclosure the court will take into account all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, the overriding objective described in Part 1.1.1 The normal order for disclosure will be an order that the parties give standard disclosure.1.2 In order to give standard disclosure the disclosing party must make a reasonable search for documents falling within the paragraphs of rule 31.6.