All claims against the UK Government (the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) in the massive Kenya Emergency Group Litigation litigation have been dismissed. The action is at an end.
On 21 November Stewart J gave judgment in the second of 25 test cases to be heard to conclusion. He then dismissed all the remaining test cases. This decision binds all Claimants on the Group Register on which some 40,000 names had been entered. The High Court’s order brings to an end the action, which had begun in 2013 and encompassed claims for damages by over 40,000 Kenyans. The Claimants alleged abuse during the Kenyan Emergency (Mau Mau insurgency) in the period 1952 to 1962. 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.
Guy Mansfield QC who has acted from the outset 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 and that given in the first test case on 2 August 2018 can be obtained here or the clerks at 1COR.
The allegations made by the 25 test claimants were considered thoroughly in the course of the trial. Except for one who died relatively early in the proceedings, each of the (living) test claimants gave evidence and was cross-examined. Each of these test claimants had been examined by a Physician/Consultant in Emergency Medicine and also by a Psychiatrist, each of whom then gave oral evidence. Over the course of a trial spanning 232 hearing days, the judge heard oral evidence from more than 30 witnesses on behalf of the claimants (including the test claimants) and also 30 witnesses on behalf of the FCO. The judge was taken to more than 3,500 documents by the parties (from a pool of more than 40,000 documents). He handed down some 16 reserved judgements on significant issues including the two most recent test case rulings.
Read more about this high profile litigation below: