The process whereby the contested issues of fact (or sometimes of law) are defined by the opposing parties before the hearing of a civil claim.

The dictionary to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 states that a pleading includes a statement of claim, defence, reply, and any subsequent pleading, and as not including a summons or notice of motion.

Rule 14.1 of the UCPR provides that Pt 14 (Pleadings) applies to all proceedings commenced by a statement of claim, and proceedings in which a statement of claim has later been filed.

Rule 15.1 of the UCPR states that a pleading must give such particulars as are necessary to enable the opposing party to identify the case to be met. Rule 15.9 states that particulars should be set out in the pleading, or where that is inconvenient, in attached documentation which is specifically referenced in the pleading.

Note: particulars give substance and detail to the general assertions made in the body of the pleading.