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). 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 allows late arriving documents to be printed and included without having to reprint anything that has already printed (except perhaps the index at the front which should, ideally, be updated and reprinted so that it mentions the late arriving documents).  

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 but much more detailed than the average table of contents in a book because it generally lists every document served and not merely chapters. 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 

Sometimes it can be helpful to also include a Chronology document in this section. A Chronology is not a huge blow-by-blow account of all events but a list, with dates, of the key events to put the Application in context. A Chronology is not always needed but, depending on the nature of the Application and when it is made, it may assist the judge if there is a Chronology listing key procedural events (when the litigation was started, when various orders were made by the court, when the Application Notice was issued, etc.) or it might be a list of key central facts on the ground such as when actions such as encroachment on land, starting building work, start of a rival business by former employees against which an injunction is sought, took place. Or sometimes a Chronology may be a combination of both procedural events and facts on the ground.      

B - Applicant's witness statement and exhibits

C - Respondent's witness statement and exhibits

D - Costs Statements

Generally the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits section will always be included even if, at the time the application bundle is produced, there is nothing to go in this section. 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 relatively late. If the section Respondent's witness statement and exhibits is included from the outset as an empty section, late documents can, if appropriate, be inserted into it without changing the sections letters (and page numbers) of subsequent sections, and at least the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits section will be mentioned in the Index (usually, in these circumstances, the section is mentioned in the Index initially as  Respondent's witness statement and exhibits - 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 - Photographs
Exhibit JKS2 - Correspondence
Exhibit JKS3 - Accounts

and then load the PDFs into DCS. 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.

The complete bundle PDF is bookmarked and is useful for browsing the bundle on your computer, but in order to produce a hardcopy you need to print one section at a time using the individual section PDFs which you can also download. Printing one section PDF at a time ensures that the first page of each section is printed recto when you are printing double-sided. So you should download the individual section PDFs (and Index PDF) and use those to print from.

Printing out and assembling the Bundle

1. Open the Applicants Witness Statements and Exhibits section PDF and look at the index pages at the start of each Exhibit and check whether there are any documents listed in that exhibit which are greater than A4 size. If, when originally loading documents to DCS, you added e.g. A3 to the end of the document title you will be able to tell from the document titles listed in the index which pages are greater than A4 size. You may well 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 name that will appear in the index and you will know for sure.

If there are one or more documents which are greater than A4 size, load the Applicants Witness Statements and Exhibits section 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 email a copy to me. Give the new PDF a name with e.g. A4A3 at the end to indicate that it contains A4 and A3 pages. For example if the section PDF is named SmithvJonesApplicationBundlev053F002B1toB4 name the new PDF SmithvJonesApplicationBundlev053F002B1toB4A4A3  When, later on, you come to print this section you will be using this amended PDF (ending in A4A3) rather than the original PDF.

2. If you have a suitable fast colour printer which can print double-sided A4 and A3 and has two paper trays you might choose to print out the Application Bundle PDFs on your own printer using the "choose paper by PDF page size" option, or, alternatively, you might use a reprographics shop. Print the PDF in the following steps

4. First of all, print the Bundle Index PDF single-sided. This is the PDF named something like SmithvJonesApplicationBundlev053FBundleIndex The first page of the PDF is the Front 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. 

5. The remaining pages of the Bundle Index PDF are the Index pages. A copy of the Index pages needs to be inserted at the start of the volume.

6. Print every section separately (to ensure that the first page of each section is printed recto). You will be using the original section PDF to print a section if all the documents it contains are A4. If the section contains one or more larger sized pages you will instead be using the amended section PDF which you created in step 1 (the one with the file name ending in e.g. A4A3). Print double-sided and in colour. 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.

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

7. When all the bundle pages have been printed out, hole punch them and file them in a ring binder. The Index must be at the beginning followed by the sections - make sure that the page numbers are consecutive and that everything listed in the Index is actually in the bundle.

8. 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.     

9. Repeat steps 3 to 8 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 July 2019. Disclaimer