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Accident Compensation Cases

Bevins v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 08/11/06)

Judgment Text

DECISION ON APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL TO THE HIGH COURT 
Judge J D Hole
Introduction 
1.
Judge Beattie's decision is dated 24 January 2006. It was sent to the intended appellant the same day. By letter dated 24 February 2006 the intended appellant indicated that she wished to apply for leave to appeal the decision. She says she received a copy of the decision on 25 January 2006 
Delay 
2.
Section 162(2) Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001 is mandatory. It states that leave to appeal to the High Court “must be sought under Part 5 of the District Courts Act 1947 and within 21 days after the District Court's decision”
3.
Thus, if the letter of 24 February 2006 is treated as the application for leave to appeal, then it was filed ten days outside the statutory 21 day time limit. 
4.
In Thomas (283/05) the District Court considered the equivalent provision under the Accident Insurance Act 1988. The wording of s 165(2) of the 1988 Act is identical to the wording of s 162(2) of the 2001 Act. The Court determined that the 21 days ran from the date that the decision was issued. The Court stated: 
“ … that lateness [of the application for leave] is fatal and I do not have any discretion to enlarge the time. The 21 days prescribed under s 165(2) runs from the date of the District Court's decision and not from the date the appellant received a copy of the decision. ”
5.
Because the notice of appeal was filed outside the statutory time limit prescribed by s 162(2) of the 2001 Act, this Court has no power to grant leave to appeal to the High Court. 
Question of Law 
6.
Even if this Court did have the power to grant leave to appeal to the High Court pursuant to s 162(2) of the 2001 Act, nevertheless the application would still be declined. 
7.
Section 162 states that leave to appeal to the High Court can only be granted if the proposed appeal raises a serious and arguable question of law. Nothing in the submissions filed by and on behalf of the intended appellant raises such an issue. For an application for leave to be granted, obviously the intended appellant should identify the question of law requiring determination. This was not done. 
8.
I note that Judge Beattie's decision was made on factual rather than legal grounds. He concluded that the pain condition experienced by the intended appellant was not causally linked to the covered injuries of 1982 and 1998. 
9.
For this reason, also, the application for leave to appeal must be declined. 
Conclusion 
10.
The application for leave to appeal to the High Court is dismissed. 

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