Or are they instead called “applications” in Britain? One hears of motions filed in court cases, perhaps primarily in the U.S. But do these exist in Britain, or in any other jurisdictions? Or are they called something different?

1 Answer 1


The term "motion" is not used in court rules of procedure in England and Wales.

What are called "motions" in Scotland (see Ordinary Cause Rules, Chapter 15) or elsewhere (U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 7) are called "application notices" in England and Wales.

See Part 23 of the civil rules:

'application notice' means a document in which the applicant states their intention to seek a court order

The process itself (rather than the document) is called an "application." See e.g. Practice Direction 3A relating to the process for seeking a court order to strike (dismiss) a claim that has no reasonable grounds of success or for summary judgment. It uses the phrase "make an application for an order."

See also Thomson Reuters Practical Law Glossary.

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    @Seekinganswers Scotland and NI have a separate judiciary from England & Wales Oct 20 at 15:50
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    Plaintiff files a lawsuit saying Defendant owes Plaintiff $1million on the grounds that Defendant is a doofus. Defendant "moves for dismissal" on the grounds that no law says that if Defendant is a doofus then Defendant owes something to Plaintiff. In the U.K., would Defendant then "apply" for dismissal instead of "moving" for dismissal? Oct 20 at 17:27
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    @MichaelHardy In E&W that is an application to strike out the claim and for summary judgment. (Two steps - first removing the offending part from the statement of claim, and then denying the claim because there is nothing left.) In Scotland it would be a motion for decree of absolvitor or dismissal, absolvitor being dismissal with prejudice. In either jurisdiction this would be in writing, very early in proceedings, assuming the court didn't just throw the claim out on its own initiative.
    – alexg
    Oct 20 at 19:44

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