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Stenning v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Court of Appeal, 31 May 2002

7 June 2002
The issues

Judiciary – appropriate level to hear cases.

The facts

This case is mentioned merely because of the Court of Appeal’s comments with regard to the Judgment of the Recorder below which they overturned. The claim concerned liability of the Home Office for the assault on one prisoner by another in Wakefield Jail. The Court noted that this was “no ordinary County Court action” and that “it should not have been assigned to a Deputy Judge unless the designated Civil Judge was satisfied that the Judge had sufficient experience to try a case of this degree of complexity and sensitivity. In the event, it was difficult to discern from the Judgment whether and when the Judge made findings of negligence and what standard of care he was applying for the purpose.

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