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Document Numbering Down Under: Australian Document Management Protocols

In Australia, the courts have mandated each document collected for a matter have a unique document ID assigned to it, which it then retains regardless of whether or not the document is produced. A document ID is assigned during processing, and is not changed. This necessitates that PDFs be prepared for each document during processing, so specific page numbers can be assigned to documents which are not produced in native form. The pagination must be fixed ahead of production.

Schedule 1 of the Default Document Management Protocol to the Federal Court of Australia's Practice Note CM 6 provides Document IDs be in the format, 'SSS-NNNN', with SSS specifying a party code. It also states that courts may order Document IDs to be in this format: SSS-BBB-FFF-NNNN', with BBB signifying a box number, email mailbox, or some other appropriate classifier. FFF represents a folder for a further level of organization. The number of digits used may vary. The protocol is very influential in Australia, and shows up widely in production guidelines. See for example, the Document Production Guidelines of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission:

The protocol sets very specific guidelines for litigators down under to follow, listing the field to be used in a document description spreadsheet in Schedule 6, and a list of document types to use in Schedule 7.

Schedule 5 to the protocol states that page numbers be placed in the top right corner 3 mm from the top and right edges of a page.


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