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R (Jones and Others) v Ceredigion County Council, Court of Appeal, 28 July 2005

22 August 2005
The issues

Appeal To House Of Lords – Leapfrog Procedure – Whether Where House Of Lords Was Granted Leave On One Of Two Issues The Court Of Appeal Had Jurisdiction To Hear Appeal On The Other Issue

The facts

The Claimants brought proceedings for judicial review seeking an order to quash the decision of the Council not to provide free transport for them from their homes to their school. The issue arose whether where the Judge granted a party a Certificate to apply for leave to appeal on two issues direct to the House of Lords under Section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1969 and also granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal if leave were refused by the House of Lords, and where the House of Lords granted leave on one issue only, the party could continue to appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of the other issue.

The decision

Section 13(2)(a) of the 1969 Act provided “and where leave is granted – no appeal from the decision of the Judge to which the Certificate relates shall lie to the Court of Appeal”. No previous example of a situation where in the same case the House of Lords granted leave on one issue and refused the leave on the other had been unearthed. If the Judge had granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of both issues he must have taken the view that there was a real prospect of success or some other compelling reason which justified the granted permission he had made. It would be surprising if therefore a partial grant of leave by the House of Lords excluded the possibility of an appeal on another grant to the Court of Appeal which was also considered to have a real prospect of success. The purpose of the section was to ensure that there was no further litigation to the Court of Appeal of a matter for which leave had been granted for an appeal to the House of Lords. Therefore the section should be construed broadly and the words “decision of the Judge to which the certificate relates” should be taken as a referring to a decision in respect of which the House of Lords granted leave for an appeal. The Court of Appeal if it took the view that the appeal was pointless or untimely had procedural weapons at its disposal.

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