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Accident Compensation Cases

Handley v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 28/06/02)

Judgment Text

M J Beattie Judge
The appellant has applied for leave to appeal to the High Court against the decision of his Honour Judge A.W. Middleton issued on 12 July 2001 under decision 177/01. 
The issue in that appeal was whether the appellant was entitled to claim compensation under s 80 (3) of the Accident Compensation Act 1982 when his claim for cover had not been lodged until 6 June 1994. 
That issue required a consideration of the transitional provisions of the Accident Rehabilitation & Compensation Insurance Act 1992 and whether, in terms of s 149 (1) of that Act, the appellant could come within that provision as being a person entitled to receive any compensation unders 80 of the Accident Compensation Act 1982immediately before the 1st July 1992. 
In his decision the Learned Judge found that it was vital to a claimant wishing to come within the provisions of s 149 (1) that a written claim for cover had been lodged prior to 1 July 1992. 
Mr Miller, counsel for the appellant, submits that the Learned Judge was wrong in law to so rule in that the appellant did come within the ambit of s 149 (1), as given the serious nature of the injury suffered he was entitled to receive compensation. 
Mr Miller submitted that the key words “entitled to receive” were words which required interpretation and as the issue was one of statutory interpretation leave to appeal should be granted. 
I accept Mr Miller's submission that the question raised in the appeal was a question of law, principally that of statutory interpretation of s 149 (1) of the 1992 Act as it permitted s 80 of the 1982 Act to survive. Therefore I find that the appellant is entitled to leave in accordance with the provisions of s 165 of the Act and leave to appeal is accordingly granted. 
I should note that counsel for the respondent indicated that the respondent neither consented nor opposed the application but simply observed that in view of the fact that the Acts in question were now repealed no general principle of law was involved. 
Despite that observation I consider that leave should be granted. 

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