New summary dismissal procedure launched by the Privy Council

9th May 2024

Appeals risk being summarily dismissed by the Privy Council Board at an early stage under new procedure – read on for more details.

Until now, any appeal to the Privy Council (whether granted permission as of right, or from the originating Court of Appeal or the Privy Council board itself) could not be dismissed until after the full appeal procedure had been completed up to the hearing and judgment.

The Practice Directions now contain a new procedure whereby, upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal, the papers will be referred to a single Justice for an initial review of the chronology of proceedings and grounds of appeal. The single Justice may direct the appeal for listing or direct that the appellant be invited to file submissions as to why the appeal should not be summarily dismissed, and such letter would be copied to the Respondents. A panel of Justices will then consider whether the appeal ought to be summarily dismissed or whether it should proceed to a full hearing.

This procedure is likely to be appealing (excuse the pun) for Respondents to what appears to be a hopeless appeal, thereby saving time and costs for the parties and the Board. We understand from User Group meetings that this is the main rationale behind the new procedure.

It will obviously be concerning for an appellant to receive a letter from the Board inviting submissions as to why the appeal should not be summarily dismissed, but the procedure allows opportunity for the appellant to state its case before any decision is made, and we understand that the Board only intends to summarily dismiss a minority of cases which are genuinely without any merit.

It will be interesting to see how many appeals are taken through this process in coming months and years: please contact us for advice and support if this affects you.

How can Blake Morgan’s Privy Council team help?

Blake Morgan has a long and distinguished record of conducting appeals and applications to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. With the team including established English litigators and Privy Council agents Nicola Diggle and Joe Cowles and Louise di Mambro OBE, the former Registrar of the Privy Council, it has unparalleled experience and expertise of the rules and practice directions which now govern the process.

The Blake Morgan Privy Council team is regularly instructed on appeals, acting as agents for attorneys overseas, working with leading offshore law firms and their clients.

In recent years the Blake Morgan Privy Council team has handled high profile appeals from multiple jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Jersey, Guernsey and Mauritius.

The Privy Council team has a distinguished record

Contact the team

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