Hilary RulesHist. A collection of English pleading rules designed to ease the strict pleading requirements of the special-pleading system, esp. by limiting the scope of the general issue in the formed actions and by forcing the defendant to set up affirmatively all matters other than a denial of the breach of duty or of the wrongful act.
? Promulgated in England in the 1834 Hilary Term, these rules followed an 1828 initiative to examine procedural laws and other subjects and to report to Parliament changes that might be enacted. The rules had the unintended effect of extending the reach of strict-pleading requirements into new areas of law. Widespread dissatisfaction with the Hilary Rules led to the liberalization of the pleading system under the 1873¨C1875 Judicature Acts. ¡ª Formerly also termed New Rules.
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