DCS - How to Create an Application Bundle

What is an Application Bundle?

An application is a request for a procedural order (e.g. for permission to use an expert witness) or for temporary relief (e.g. an injunction preserving the status quo on the ground until trial). If there is time it is usual for an Application Bundle to be created in both hardcopy and as an eBundle but where the application is for an urgent injunction often only a hardcopy is used. This article is about hardcopy-only application bundles.

The person applying for the order files at the court office an Application Notice, a draft order - setting out what order they would like the court to make - and a witness statement(s) which will normally refer to documents. Those documents referred to would be packaged in one or more exhibits (with each exhibit starting with a front sheet identifying which exhibit number it is) and the exhibits, together with the witness statement(s) Application Notice and draft order, will be served on the other party. The party responding to the application may or may not file/serve witness statement(s) and exhibits in response, and the party applying will sometimes file/serve a further witness statement (and possibility further exhibits) in response to that. Unlike a trial, which will typically take a number of days and which is the culmination of the whole litigation process taking many months in total, an application hearing normally last no more than 2 hours and it is often only a week between the applicant issuing an Application Notice, with draft order, witness statement and exhibits, and the hearing taking place, with the other party's (Respondent's) witness statement (and any exhibits) being lodged perhaps only one-and-a-half days before the hearing of the application.

In all but the most urgent applications there will be a few days (usually 3 clear business days) from when the Application Notice is filed and served to the application hearing itself, giving time to create a "bundle" of documents and the court will invariably require an Application Bundle to be produced by one of the parties so that the documents are available at the hearing in a convenient form (and the court does not have to rely on looking at documents on the court file). In an Application Bundle every page has a page number and the judge and each party at the hearing have identical copies of the Application Bundle.  

The numbers on the pages in an application bundle normally restart within each lettered section - i.e. the pages in the first section are numbered A1, A2, A3, etc, and the pages in the second section are numbered B1, B2, B3, etc. This means that if documents need to be inserted late into the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits section the page numbering of other sections will not be affected. This is important because it means that if the respondent provides their witness statement and exhibits late, they can be included without having to reprint anything already in the bundle since no existing page numbers will change. Having page numbers restart for each section also means that if, as is commonly the case, the applicant and respondent each have one large indexed and paginated exhibit, the internal page numbers in each such exhibit will be the same as the bundle numbering for the section that the exhibit appears in (or if not the same, e.g. because the the internal page numbers start after the exhibit's internal index, at least they will only be out by a consistent 1 or 2) which helps when locating documents in the bundle.   

The Application Bundle will have an Index at the front. Despite its name, the Index is not like the index of an ordinary book. An ordinary non-fiction book will have a table of contents at the front listing each section or chapter in the order it appears with the page number, and there will also be an index at the back listing alphabetically people, places, topics etc. with the page number where that person, place, or topic is referred to in the book. The Index of a Application Bundle is not at all like an alphabetic index that you find at the end of a typical book. It is at the front, and is really a table of contents. Why is it called an Index? The word Index is actually an old word for a table of contents, rarely used in this sense now outside the legal context, but this is still its primary meaning when used by lawyers and judges.

An Application Bundle will typically be arranged with the sections in the following order:

Index. This will list, with page numbers, each document in the bundle. 

A - Application Notice & Draft Order 

B - Applicant's witness statement

C - Applicant's exhibits

D - Respondent's witness statement

E - Respondent's exhibits

F - Costs Statements

Generally the respondent's witness statement and exhibits sections will always be included even if, at the time the application bundle is produced, there is nothing to go in these sections. This is because applications are often urgent, with the Respondent only being given short notice (e.g. 3 days) of the hearing and the Respondent may file and serve a witness statement, and accompanying exhibits, relatively late. If the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits sections are included from the outset as empty sections, late documents can, if appropriate, be inserted into them and at least the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits sections will be mentioned in the Index (usually, in these circumstances, the sections are named e.g. Respondent's witness statement - none received and the words none received can be crossed out later if any Respondent's witness statements are received and inserted)

Creating the Application Bundle PDFs

The basic method is that you make a PDF copy, with an appropriate descriptive name (suitable for use in an Index), of each document to be included in the bundle - e.g.:

Application Notice
Draft Order
Witness Statement of John Smith
Exhibit JKS1

and then load the PDFs into DCS. Then click the Download Complete Bundle button as shown below to download the Bundle as a PDF. Check that all pages (except the initial Front Page and Index) have red page numbers at the bottom right.

You can print a hardcopy from the Complete Bundle PDF but individual section PDFs are also available to download and you may find these easier to use for printing. For example, printing one section PDF at a time is one way of ensuring that the first page of each section is printed recto when printing double-sided.

Printing out and assembling the Bundle

When printing a hardcopy you should:
  • print the front-page and bundle index on A4 paper single-sided
  • print large documents single-sided on the appropriate paper e.g. A3
  • print all other pages on A4 paper double-sided ensuring that the first page of each section is printed recto.
Bundle PDFs downloaded from DCS will have PDF page sizes automatically set to A4 but if, when you originally loaded documents to DCS, you added e.g. A3 to the end of the document title for large documents you will be able to tell from the document titles listed in the index at the front of each exhibit which pages in that exhibit need to be printed on paper greater than A4 size. You might remember, when you look at the documents, which ones - often maps and drawings - were larger than A4 but if you added the characters A3A2, etc. to the document title that will appear in the index at the front of each exhibit and you will know for sure.

You need to print in colour not only because some pages may contain photographs or colour-coded plans but because the page number on every page is in red and red printed in greyscale can be difficult to see.

If you are using a reprographics shop to print they may accept detailed written instructions about how to print e.g. -

"Please print the first 5 pages single-sided on A4. Print pages 20 to 22 and pages 41 to 45 single-sided on A3. Print all other pages double-sided on A4 ensuring that pages 6, 51, 72, and 98 are printed recto."

or the reprographics shop may insist that you provide PDFs containing PDF page sizes which accurately reflect the actual paper size to be used. To produce such PDFs proceed as follows. Open each section PDF and check whether there are any documents in that PDF which should be printed on paper greater than A4 size. If there are, load the PDF to the Resize facility in Sejdachoose the Change Page Size option and a panel like that shown below will be displayed. You will see that every document is set to A4 size (because DCS always generates bundle PDFs with all page sizes set to A4 irrespective of what page size the document had when initially loaded to DCS) and you need to select those documents which are greater than A4 size and correct the page size by changing it to A3 or A2 as appropriate.  

Save the PDF containing the corrected page sizes and use this to send to the reprographics shop.

Assembling the hardcopy bundle

1. The first page is the Title Page. You should ensure that the Title Page contains the name and number of the case and the title of the bundle (e.g. "Application Bundle") in tramlines. It is intended to be on the outside of the front cover of each volume - insert it into the transparent pocket of the front cover of the ring binder/lever arch file.

2. Assemble all the other sheets you have printed together into a pile, folding each A3 or A2 sheet into A4 size.

3. Hole punch the sheets and file them in a the ring binder/lever arch file. The Bundle Index must be at the beginning followed by the sections in order - make sure that the page numbers are consecutive and that everything listed in the Bundle Index is actually in the bundle.

4. It will assist everyone if tabs are inserted in front of each section, as shown in top picture at the top of this page. The name written on each tab should be the section letter (A, B, C etc) and the section name abbreviated as necessary to fit on the tab - for example "Applicant w/s" for the Applicant's witness statements. When writing on vertical tabs write down like this




rather than writing across - writing across is more difficult to read and can make Hs look like Is and vice versa. Note that there may be a Respondent's Witness Statements section (or similar) containing no documents. If so, a tab should still be inserted for this section as, because of the limited notice given in some Applications, documents may need to be inserted in this section later.     

5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 to produce as many copies of the bundle as required. 



The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

There is some variation between the procedural requirements of different tribunals and courts for different types of case. The above explanation of procedural rules relating to application bundles is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in April 2020. Disclaimer