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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Hussein v Commissioner Of Metropolitan Police [2001] EWCA Civ 726 (15 May 2001)
Cite as: [2001] EWCA Civ 726

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Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWCA Civ 726
NO: B1/2000/3391


Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2

Tuesday, 15th May 2001

B e f o r e :


- v -


Computer Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
180 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HD
Telephone No: 0171-421 4040 Fax No: 0171-831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)


MR S A HUSSEIN the Applicant appeared in person


Crown Copyright ©

    Tuesday, 15th May 2001

  1. LORD JUSTICE MUMMERY: This is an application for permission to appeal and for an extension of time. The application is made in person by Mr Sayed Amdad Hussein. The order which he wishes to have permission to appeal was made by His Honour Judge Ellis at the Croydon County Court on 4th October 2000.
  2. The position was this. Many years ago, in the late 1980s, Mr Hussein had been arrested and charged in connection with the preparation of false accounts. He was acquitted in late 1989. As a result of the circumstances in which he was charged and subsequently acquitted, he brought civil proceedings against the Commissioner for Metropolitan Police and others alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution. In 1994 an order was made striking out his claim for non-compliance with an "unless" order, but the case was later reinstated in circumstances which I need not explain at this stage.
  3. Subsequently, in July 1999 an unless order was made by District Judge Brown in the Croydon County Court. The unless order related to failure of Mr Hussein to comply with an order for discovery. That matter came before District Judge Fink on 18th August 1999, when she struck out Mr Hussein's claim for failure to comply with that unless order. Mr Hussein then appealed. He says that the hearing was transferred at the last minute in the Croydon County Court to His Honour Judge Ellis, a judge who he contends is more normally sitting in criminal cases than civil cases like this. He says the judge who normally deals with this kind of case in Croydon, His Honour Judge Coningsby, was available to hear his appeal that day and that no reason was provided for the transfer at the last moment to His Honour Judge Ellis.
  4. When the case came before Judge Ellis, Mr Hussein said that he wished to have the appeal transferred to another Court, and if that order was not made, he did not intend to proceed with the appeal, because he had no confidence of getting a fair trial in the Croydon County Court. The judge said he came fresh to the case and it was recognised by Mr Hussein that he had not been involved in any earlier hearings. Mr Hussein did not seek to impugn his integrity either before him or on the application this morning. However, he says, that he does not have confidence in the staff at Croydon County Court. In particular, he has alleged perjury by the chief clerk in relation to earlier management of his case in that court.
  5. He says that the police have done everything possible to prevent this matter coming on for trial. In pursuing the matter he has had a long history of difficulties with the Croydon County Court which have led him to lose confidence in its impartiality. He has drawn my attention to Article 6 of the Convention and to the Human Rights Act in relation to the right to have matters heard before an impartial and independent tribunal.
  6. I will repeat that Mr Hussein has not made any personal allegations against the impartiality or integrity of His Honour Judge Ellis. What he says though is that what he calls the "executive" at Croydon County Court are having an influence on the way this matter is being dealt with, in light of the past history of this case he has no further confidence in the staff at that court. He wishes to have the matter transferred elsewhere, even though he has no particular criticism of the judge who dealt with this case.
  7. The allegations made by Mr Hussein are serious and disturbing. He says in his application that the court at Croydon is corrupt and racist and the Metropolitan Police are in some kind a corrupt relationship with the court. He says that he has been subjected to racial prejudice. The district judge was simply not interested in the facts or the law in his case and the circuit judges had failed, despite his denial of human rights, to transfer his action to another court notwithstanding, he says, evidence of corruption and partiality in the court. What he wants is for this matter to be transferred to and tried in the High Court. Further details are contained in part (c) of his application, where he summarises what happened in the application before His Honour Judge Ellis. He said that the Court of Appeal had previously ruled that his appeal should be allowed in view of the contradictory evidence filed by the chief clerk in Croydon in respect of an earlier appeal in this matter.
  8. He complains that no action has been taken either by the circuit or the court against the administrator who, he says, has lied under oath. He, as a litigant, cannot in these circumstances can have any place in that court. He repeats what I have said about the matter being transferred from the judge who, he says, would normally have heard it to a judge who would more normally deal with criminal cases.
  9. On my reading of the papers I had formed the provisional view that this case was not one in which I should grant permission to appeal. Judge Ellis did not deal with the striking-out order made by District Judge Fink, because Mr Hussein had said he did not want him to deal with the appeal; he wanted the matter transferred. That application was considered by His Honour Judge Ellis who took into account relevant factors relating to whether he should transfer the matter to another court. He stated his conclusion in paragraph 13 as follows:
  10. "I have come to the conclusion that it would be wrong in the circumstances for me to order that the matter be transferred to another Court. I am quite satisfied that I am in a position to give Mr Hussein a fair hearing of his appeal today and I am also satisfied that if his appeal were to succeed this Court would ensure that the matter proceeded to trial and would ensure that the Claimant had a fair trial. For those reasons I refuse the application to transfer the appeal."
  11. It was on that decision that Mr Hussein made it clear that, despite the judge giving him a further opportunity to consider the matter, it was still his wish to withdraw his appeal and his intention to take the matter, if necessary, to the European Court in Strasbourg to obtain justice.
  12. In order to appeal against the exercise of the discretion, such as exists in the transfer of cases from one court to another, Mr Hussein would have to show that he had a real prospect of demonstrating on a full appeal to this Court that the discretion had been exercised in disregard of legal principle or that the exercise of it in refusing the transfer was plainly wrong. On the paper materials that I have at the moment, I would take a great deal of persuading that the appeal on that ground had a real prospect of success. However, as I have explained to Mr Hussein, I am concerned by the seriousness of the allegations which he is making, both in his notice of application and in his oral submissions today. I do not think it would be right for me to refuse permission without him having an opportunity to present to a full Court evidence in support of his complaints about the way that this matter has been dealt with in Croydon.
  13. I therefore propose to take this course. I will not grant permission to appeal today and I will not refuse permission to appeal today. I will adjourn this application for permission for hearing by the full Court. I would direct that for the purposes of that hearing, at which the respondents will be entitled to be represented, Mr Hussein is to swear a detailed affidavit exhibiting to it all relevant documents and giving particulars in the affidavit of the allegations which he is making, against whom and the basis on which he submits that it is not possible for him to have an independent and impartial adjudication of his case in the Croydon County Court.
  14. (Application adjourned; 28 days to lodge affidavit)

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