Douglas and Bath on important changes to the New South Wales’ Uniform Civil Procedure Rules


Mr Michael Douglas and Prof Vivienne Bath, of Sydney Law School, have published an article on recent amendments to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules regarding service outside the Australian state of New South Wales. Under the Rules, effective service of the court’s originating process on a defendant outside New South Wales will establish the court’s personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The article clearly sets out and analyses changes to the bases on which a defendant can be served outside Australia under the Rules. Numerous bases have been significantly expanded. It also considers the effect of a new rule allowing for a defendant to be served outside Australia, with the court’s leave, where the claim does not fall within one of those bases. Among the particularly helpful aspects of the article are several comparative tables displaying the original rule, the revision and the authors’ projected impact of the revision.

The authors’ abstract is as follows:

‘In December 2016, the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) were amended in respect of service outside of the jurisdiction and outside Australia. Previously, service outside Australia was authorised if the claim had a specified connection to the forum. The claim was required to fall within one or more of the heads of Schedule 6. If the defendant failed to appear, the plaintiff would require leave to proceed. That position remains the default under the amended Rules, although the heads of Schedule 6 have been revised. However, there has also been a significant change. Under the new Rules, if the claim does not fall within Schedule 6, service may be authorised with the prior leave of the court. This article outlines and comments on the changes to the Rules, identifying areas which may require judicial clarification.’

The paper is available on SSRN at:

Its suggested citation is: Michael Douglas and Vivienne Bath, ‘A New Approach to Service Outside the Jurisdiction and Outside Australia under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules’ (2017) 44(2) Australian Bar Review 160.