Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC and Henry Witcomb, instructed by Mark Bowman of Fieldfisher, represented the Claimant in a pro bono case in The Court of Appeal. Judgment was handed down in the much anticipated case of Jx Mx, allowing for the Claimant to have the right to anonymity following the conclusion of their clinical negligence claim. In addition, guidance has been given as to the process to be followed in future claims, and is great news for Claimants who are children or protected parties and who are involved in personal injury and clinical negligence claims.
Whereas previously the burden was on a Claimant to provide the court with reasons why anonymity was necessary to derogate from the principle of open justice, anonymity will now be afforded to Claimants as a matter of routine practice unless for some reason the Court is satisfied it is not necessary or inappropriate to do so. The likelihood of such circumstances arising appears to be remote and the burden is now very much placed on the Press to provide reasons why anonymity should not be granted.
This judgment, which can be read here, is very much a victory for Claimants across the country and brings much needed certainty to an area of law that was previously both uncertain, and frequently unfair to Claimants.