Kerry Underwood


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I have written up the case of

 JLE (a child by her mother and litigation friend, ELH) v Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1582 (QB)

in relation to Part 36.

The case also has a twist in relation to the High Court granting permission to appeal out of time.

This is a Kafkaesque story.

The appellant has 21 days to appeal, running from the date of judgment, which was given in the absence of the parties.

To appeal the appellant needs a sealed order, and although the appellant tried to file in time, the court office refused the application because there was no sealed order, as the court itself had not sent it out.

The sealed order was not sent out by the court until well after the time for appealing had passed.

I tweeted recently about a case in Central London County Court, where an unless order was made in the absence of the parties and not issued by the court until weeks after the time for complying with the unless order had expired.

Thus, we now have Draconian penalties for failing to comply with court orders that we know nothing about.

We have judges pontificating about how it is not just the case in hand where justice must be done, it is the effect on other court users, and so if injustice is done in a particular case, so be it; that is for the greater good of the efficiency of the system.

Except that the system has all but collapsed, and if the courts and judges were subject to the same discipline as solicitors, most would be removed from office.

I fully appreciate that this is not the fault of the judiciary or the staff – it is the fault of very right wing economic policies in this country.

However all judges should now stop insisting on rigorous adherence to timetables that they themselves cannot comply with.

I blogged recently about the Legal Services Ombudsman punishing solicitors for delay and failing to adhere to timetables, even though the Ombudsman admits that he is missing every single one of his targets, often by a country mile.

This is Star Chamber justice.

I have said it before, say it now, and will say it again – in this country we are on the road to Nuremberg.


Written by kerryunderwood

July 5, 2019 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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