PERMISSION TO APPEAL CANNOT BE OPEN-ENDED: HIGH COURT DECISION

In  Ghura -v- Dalal [2015] EWHC 2385 Mr Justice Norris rejected the idea that time for appealing could be open-ended or ambiguous in its scope.

KEY POINTS

  • The Court does not have power to extend time for appealing “generally”.
  • In any event it is contrary to the overriding objective to give a “general” extension of time to appeal.
  • Waiting to see the consequences of an order is not a sufficient reason for extending time for appealing.
THE JUDGMENT
“Mr Justice Norris:
  1. Regrettably the parties have been unable to agree the wording of the final order to be made at the conclusion of the trial of this case, although I have provided them with a suggested draft and in correspondence explained my intentions behind some of the wording used.
  2. There remains one outstanding point. The Claimants seek the inclusion of the words:
“The time for seeking permission to appeal paragraphs 1(i) to (iv) above is extended generally pending the working out of the orders made herein or until further order”.
These words are not in my suggested draft. Their inclusion is sought to address a circumstance that may arise in December 2015, which is not directly addressed in my suggested order, and about which (if it arises) the parties may differ as to the effect of my order. As the specific circumstance was not the subject of submission at trial, what might have to be done in 5 months’ time will necessarily involve construing my present order.
  1. I do not agree to the insertion of the proposed words. First, CPR 52.4 permits me to extend the time for filing an Appellants’ Notice for “such period as may be directed”. I do not consider that the rule permits me to extend time generally. Second, the power to extend time must be exercised having regard to the overriding objective and in implementation of the policy of achieving finality (as is demonstrated by the shortness of the standard default period of 21 days). Extending time generally does not promote finality. Thirdly, I do not consider that waiting to see what the consequences of the judgment are is sufficient ground for extending the time for appealing. On this I align myself with the views expressed by Turner J inKagolovsky [2014] EWHC 108 (QB). Fourth, it will remain open to the Court of Appeal (which will have to grapple with whatever issue it is that arises out of the terms of my order) to extend time for appealing if and when an appeal arises.
  2. This judgment is being handed down in the vacation. I am aware that the respective legal teams may be affected by holiday arrangements. I extend the time for appealing my order (which has now been circulating in draft for several weeks) until 4pm 8 September 2015.”

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