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Accident Compensation Cases

Smith v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 22/07/11)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
The applicant seeks leave to appeal to the High Court from a decision of His Honour Judge P F Barber delivered on 30 August 2010, under Decision No. 143/10 and whereby he confirmed a review decision that there was no jurisdiction to reconsider whether the applicant was entitled to reinstatement of weekly compensation which had been discontinued on 2 April 1992. 
As was noted by His Honour in his decision, that issue had been fully considered and determined firstly by the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority in its decision of 1 June 1995, and then on appeal in the High Court by the decision of His Honour Justice Chisholm of 5 February 1998. 
In the course of his decision His Honour noted that the applicant was seeking to re-open that issue by asserting that the original decision had been made on the basis of false evidence. 
For the purposes of this application the Court has received helpful submissions from Mr I Hunt, Counsel for the Respondent, and having read the applicant's submissions in support of his application for leave, I find I am in full agreement with the view expressed by Mr Hunt, and where he submitted that the applicant's submissions were unspecific and unfocused, and almost impossible to relate to any discrete issue or question of law that the applicant was seeking to contend should now be considered by the High Court. 
I agree with Mr Hunt's submission that the applicant was in fact contending that the District Court ought to have gone back to reconsider issues that had already been well traversed and determined. 
That was the finding of His Honour Judge Barber in his decision and where he noted at paragraphs [21] and [22] as follows: 
Finally, the balance of the appellant's November 2009 submissions, under the heading ‘Factural grounds showing document is incorrect’, continues to confusingly address a variety of documents including a report from a private investigator, various correspondences, various ACC memoranda, a document prepared by ACC concerning the future management of long term claims, and submissions made on behalf of the appellant in earlier hearings. 
Like Mr Hunt, I am at a loss to follow or understand the relevance of these matters to the issues in this appeal. In any case, all such matters are dealt with by the process which was undertaken through Review, appeal to the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority and the High Court leading to the said 5 February 1998 decision of Chisholm J in Smith v ARCIC. ”
Consequent upon those findings, His Honour stated the following conclusion: 
I find that all the matters advanced by the appellant raise issues covered by the doctrines of estoppel by record, issue estoppel, and abuse of process. ”
Having regard to the decision of His Honour Judge Barber and of the legal requirement that an applicant must show an error of law capable of bona fide and serious argument, I find that the decision that His Honour made that the issues raised by the applicant were covered by doctrines of estoppel by record, issue estoppels, and abuse of process, are not findings of law that can be called into question or which are capable of serious argument such that they should be referred to the High Court for consideration. 
Accordingly, leave to appeal to the High Court is refused. 

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