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Accident Compensation Cases

Khan v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 18/12/15)

Judgment Text

Judge G M Harrison
In an email of 6 March 2015 the applicant applied for leave to appeal to the High Court a decision of District Court Judge Powell of 27 February 2015. 
Any appeal to the High Court may only be on a defined question of law. 
The application before Judge Powell sought the setting aside or recall of two judgments of Judge Barber being his interim and final judgments on an appeal brought by the applicant being determined respectively in 2004 and 2005. 
The Judge outlined the extensive history of Court proceedings and against that background observed that the applicant had not identified any relevant statutory provision by which the Judge has jurisdiction to set aside the interim and final judgments, still less any provision in either the Accident Compensation legislation or the District Courts Rules. 
Judge Powell held that there was no jurisdiction to set aside the judgments essentially because they were perfected when issued and were therefore final unless any application for leave to appeal them was filed within 21 days of the decisions being issued. 
No such application was made and the decisions were then final for all purposes. 
As far as the application to recall the decisions is concerned, the Judge referred to the leading authority on that subject — Horowhenua County v Nash (No. 2) [1968] NZLR 632Has partially negative history or cases citing, but has not been reversed or overruled[Yellow] , which identified three categories of grounds, where a judgment not perfected may be recalled. 
He determined that none of the three grounds could be fulfilled, and that there was no basis on which the judgments could be recalled. 
The application for leave to appeal did not purport to identify any question of law. The submissions of the applicant likewise do not identify any question of law for referral to the High Court. The submissions concentrate on the history of the litigation against the Corporation as somehow establishing a basis for recall. The submission does refer to the Horowhenua County case but does not define how Judge Powell may not have considered and applied correctly any of the three grounds for recall. The submission proposed that two categories of the Horowhenua County case applied, but gave no specifics whatsoever on how they might apply. 
Although I have considered the applicant's submissions closely, I have been unable to identify any question of law arising from Judge Powell's decision that should be referred to the High Court for determination. 
That being so, the application is dismissed. 
The question of costs is reserved and counsel for the Corporation is at liberty to seek an order against the applicant in that regard. 

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