Following an expedited oral hearing, the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, 9 October, in a reserved judgment,  EWCA Civ 2213, refused the Claimant permission to appeal the decision of Stewart J in the Kenya Emergency Group Litigation. That judge had on 2 August given judgment, Kimathi & Others v The Foreign and Commonwealth Office  EWHC 2066 (QB) read judgment dismissing the first of 25 test cases to be heard to conclusion. In a long judgment, the judge declined to exercise his discretion under section 33 Limitation Act 1980 to extend time in the Claimant’s favour.
The judgment of Stewart J is significant. It provides detailed guidance for the trial of ‘stale’ claims. It is of particular importance where a defendant alleges that by reason of lapse of time it has sustained prejudice such that a court should not proceed to determine the claim on its merits. That is particularly so where documentation of background or circumstantial significance remains available, but its full original extent is uncertain and/or witnesses are dead or missing, and recollections faded. Guy Mansfield QC who has acted from the outset in 2012, appeared on behalf of the FCO, instructed as first Leading Counsel of the counsel team. Other members of 1COR who have appeared or advised in the course of the action are Peter Skelton QC, David Manknell, Matthew Donmall and Jo Moore. Copies of the judgment can be obtained here or from the clerks at 1COR. The decision is discussed here in the UK Human Rights Law Blog – 1 Crown Office Row, 6 August 2018 (Jo Moore).
Readers may also be interested in the Judge’s two recent rulings in the Defendant’s favour in the action (1) dismissing the claim for relief under s.32 of the Limitation Act 1980 (no concealment of facts relevant to the right of action)  EWHC 1169 (QB) and (2) dismissing the claim that fear, caused either by the tort of negligence or trespass, amounts to personal injury within the meaning of section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980  EWHC 1305 (QB). That decision is discussed here in the UK Human Rights Law Blog – 1 Crown Office Row, 7 August 2018 (Matt Donmall).
Read more in the previous news piece published on 3rd August 2018 here.