Roger William Bisson v Jersey Police Complaints Authority

JurisdictionJersey
CourtCourt of Appeal
JudgeAnderson JA
Judgment Date13 November 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] JCA 192
Date13 November 2017

[2017] JCA 192

COURT OF APPEAL

Before:

James W. McNeill, Q.C., President;

George Bompas, Q.C., and

David Anderson, Q.C.

In the Matter of an Appeal Against the Refusal Ex Parte of Leave to Commence Judicial Review Proceedings Against the Jersey Police Complaints Authority

Between
Roger William Bisson
Appellant
and
Jersey Police Complaints Authority
Respondent

Mr Bisson appeared on his own behalf.

Authorities

Bisson v JPCA [2017] JCA 156 .

Bisson v JPCA [2017] JRC 087 .

R v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham ex p Burkitt [2002] UKHL 23 .

Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS and others v Tepe insaat Sanayii AS [2016] JCA 199D .

Uprichard v Scottish Ministers [2013] UKSC 21 , 2013 SC (UKSC) 219.

I v J [2017] JCA 045B .

Bisson v Rabet and Roberts [2012] JRC 021 .

Appeal — leave sought by the Appellant to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Anderson JA

This is the judgment of the Court.

Introduction
1

By judgment of 26 September 2017 ( Bisson v JPCA [2017] JCA 156), this Court dismissed Mr Bisson's appeal against the refusal of Commissioner Michael Beloff QC, in his judgment of 12 June 2017 ( Bisson v JPCA [2017] JRC 087), to grant leave to apply for judicial review against the Jersey Police Complaints Authority (“JPCA”). By written application dated 30 October 2017, Mr Bisson seeks leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council against our judgment.

Jurisdiction of the Privy Council
2

Though we have not heard argument on the point (the JPCA having not been called upon to participate in these proceedings to date), we are prepared to assume in favour of Mr Bisson that the Privy Council has jurisdiction to entertain an appeal against a dismissal by the Court of Appeal of a refusal of leave to apply for judicial review: cf. R v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham ex p Burkitt [2002] UKHL 23, per Lord Slynn at [7] and Lord Steyn at [13].

Test for leave to appeal
3

The Privy Council grants leave to appeal:-

“in civil cases for applications that, in the opinion of the Appeal Panel, raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Judicial Committee at that time, bearing in mind that the matter will already have been the subject of judicial decision and may already have been reviewed on appeal; an application which in the opinion of the Appeal Panel does not raise such a point of law is refused on that ground”

(Privy Council Practice Direction 3, para 3.3.3(a)).

4

The modern approach of the Court of Appeal to applications for permission to appeal to the Privy Council was set out in Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS and others v Tepe insaat Sanayii AS [2016] JCA 199D, paras [23]–[30]. The Court of Appeal cited (at [18]) the comment of Lord Reed in the United Kingdom Supreme Court in the case of in Uprichard v Scottish Ministers [2013] UKSC 21, 2013 SC (UKSC) 219 at [59], in which he described the practice of the Courts of Appeal of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland in the following terms:-

“Appeals against any order or judgment of the Court of Appeal in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland can be brought only with the permission of the Court of Appeal or of this court. In practice, the Court of Appeal normally refuses permission so as to enable an appeal panel of this court to select, from the applications before it for permission to appeal, the cases raising the most important issues.”

5

The Court of Appeal continued:-

“23. We begin by observing by reference to paragraph 3.3.3(a) of the JCPC Practice Direction that permission to appeal (or “leave” as it is in Art 14(a) of the 1961 Law) will only be granted by the Appeal Panel of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council “in civil cases for applications that… raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Judicial Committee at that time”. As that is the threshold which the Appeal Panel will apply in the event that we refuse leave and an application is made to the Privy Council for special leave, it appears to this Court that we would not be permitted to adopt a lower threshold. Indeed, it may be said that a court of appeal in such a situation should actually adopt a stricter threshold simply because the Appeal Panel of the Judicial Committee can permit an appeal to proceed even where leave or permission...

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