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Accident Compensation Cases

Ward v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 17/12/03)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
The appellant has applied for leave to appeal to the High Court against the decision of His Honour Judge J Cadenhead, issued on 19 June 2003, under Decision No.132/03. 
The issue in the appeal was whether the appellant was entitled to have the respondent pay the costs of the representative which he engaged for the purposes of assisting him with the preparation of his Individual Rehabilitation Plan. 
That issue required a consideration of the provisions of Clause 7 of Schedule 1 to the Act, and in particular Clause 7(4) which states: 
“The Corporation is liable to meet the costs of preparing the Plan, including the costs of any assessment that it has approved as necessary to enable the preparation of the Plan. ”
In his decision the Learned Judge considered the extent and purpose of that provision in the light of the principles of statutory interpretation and he came to the view that this particular statutory provision could not be construed as giving a claimant a right to have the costs of his representative paid for by the respondent. 
The issue in the appeal was clearly one which was a question of law namely, the correct interpretation of the particular clause of Schedule 1. It is the case that this particular issue has not been before the Court on any earlier occasion and I consider that this Court would obtain benefit from the guidance which the High Court may be able to give. 
The Court was advised through counsel that the respondent neither consents nor opposes the application for leave and will abide the decision of the Court. 
In the circumstances I find that there is a question of law that the appellant is entitled to have referred to the High Court pursuant to the provisions of Section 162 of the Act and leave is accordingly granted. 

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