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Accident Compensation Cases

Aalderink v Accident Compensation Corporation (HC, 13/02/15)

Judgment Text

JUDGMENT OF FAIRE J 
Faire J
Background 
[1]
Mr Aalderink appealed the decision of the Accident Compensation Corporation's Reviewer to the District Court. The Judge dismissed the appeal. Mr Aaldernik then applied for leave to appeal to the High Court. The District Court refused to grant leave. Mr Aalderink then sought special leave of the High Court to appeal the earlier decision of the District Court pursuant to s 162(3) of the Accident Compensation Act 2001 (the Act). Special leave to appeal to the High Court was refused. Mr Aaldrink now seeks leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal in reliance on s 163(1). 
[2]
For the reasons below, I have no jurisdiction to grant leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. 
Reasons 
[3]
Section 163 of the Accident Compensation Act 2011 is an enactment that requires leave of the High Court to appeal a decision to the Court of Appeal: 
“163
Appeal to Court of Appeal on question of law 
(1)
A party to an appeal before the High Court under section 162 who is dissatisfied with any determination or decision of the Court on the appeal as being wrong in law may, with the leave of the High Court, appeal to the Court of Appeal by way of case stated for the opinion of that court on a question of law only. 
(2)
If the High Court refuses to grant leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal may grant special leave to appeal. 
(3)
An appeal to the Court of Appeal must be dealt with in accordance with the rules of the court. 
(4)
The decision of the Court of Appeal on any application for leave to appeal, or on an appeal under this section, is final. ”
[4]
The wording in subs (1) is clear that a party to an appeal seeking leave of the High Court must be dissatisfied with a determination or decision of the Court on the appeal. The decision which Mr Aalderink seeks to appeal at present was not an appeal, but a refusal to grant leave to appeal. This falls outside the jurisdiction allowed by the wording in s 163(1). 
[5]
McCafferty v Accident Compensation Corporation is the authority for this proposition.1 That case was decided under the Accident Insurance Act 1998, the predecessor to the current 2001 Act. The Court of Appeal found that s 166 (the wording of which is identical to the wording in s 163 of the current Act) does not confer jurisdiction to appeal against refusals of leave to appeal2
| X |Footnote: 2
At 845. 
because such a decision is not a “determination or decision of the [High] Court on the appeal”.3
| X |Footnote: 3
Section 163(1). 
 
[6]
In a later decision the Court of Appeal noted that the wording of s 163(1) does not catch a refusal to grant special leave to appeal because “a decision refusing to grant special leave is not an appeal; it is a different genus of determination or proceeding”.4
| X |Footnote: 4
Howard v Accident Compensation Corporation [2014] NZCA 627Has Litigation History which is not known to be negative[Blue]  at [15]. 
On appeal the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's reasoning.5
| X |Footnote: 5
Howard v Accident Compensation Corporation [2014] NZSC 31; (2014) PRNZ 815Has Litigation History which is not known to be negative[Blue] 
 
[7]
The legal position is clear. There is no jurisdiction to grant leave to appeal from a decision refusing leave to appeal to the High Court. 
[8]
The application is dismissed. 


At 845. 
Section 163(1). 
Howard v Accident Compensation Corporation [2014] NZCA 627Has Litigation History which is not known to be negative[Blue]  at [15]. 
Howard v Accident Compensation Corporation [2014] NZSC 31; (2014) PRNZ 815Has Litigation History which is not known to be negative[Blue] 

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