What Is Pre-Action Discovery & How Could It Help My Case?


The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2020 provide the District Court and the Supreme Courts of South Australia with the power to order pre-action discovery.

Pre-action discovery is when a person seeks discovery or production of evidentiary material or information to decide whether or against whom to bring a claim.

The Court may make an order for pre-action discovery if satisfied:

  1. A party may have a good cause of action against another person;
  2. The person against whom the order is sought may be in possession or custody of evidentiary material or information relevant to the possible cause of action;
  3. The Applicant requires discovery or production of relevant evidentiary material to:
    • Decide whether a cause of action exists;
    • Decide against whom the claim lies; or
    • Formulate a claim properly.

Pre-action discovery can be a powerful tool when used appropriately particularly when the resources of potential parties are vastly unequal.




An example of this could be an experienced farmer who purchases seed from a nursery, which is subsequently propagated into seedlings by the nursery and transplanted into a crop.

The farmer attends to the watering, application of fertilizer and nutrients, and application of insecticides and other chemicals in a suitable plot of land (with respect to climate, geography, soil conditions, etc).

Despite this, the crop fails and produces defective or malformed produce.

The farmer discovers that several other farmers around the state have encountered this precise problem and is convinced that either the nursery or multinational seed company is at fault.

In this situation, pre-action discovery would be a powerful tool that could be used to obtain evidentiary material by a farmer considering bringing a crop loss claim.


Contact Us


If you are considering bringing a claim against a party who may be in possession of evidentiary material relevant to your claim and would like further information or assistance, contact us at Bambrick Legal today.

We offer a free, no-obligation 15-min consultation for all enquiries.

You can view more information about our Dispute Resolution services here.

Related Blog – What Are Oppression Proceedings & Members Derivative Proceedings?

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