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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

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Cite as: [2002] EWCA Civ 119

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Neutral Citation Number: [2002] EWCA Civ 119

(Lord Justice Tuckey and
Mr Justice Silber)

Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2
Tuesday, 5th February 2002

B e f o r e :


on the application of PETER THOMAS JONES Applicant


Computer Aided Transcript of the Palantype Notes of
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 020 7421 4040 Fax: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)


The Applicant appeared in person.
The Respondent did not appear and was not represented.



Crown Copyright ©

  1. LORD JUSTICE LATHAM:This is an application by Mr Jones for permission to appeal a decision of the Divisional Court dated 17th October 2001, when Lord Justice Tuckey and Mr Justice Silber refused him permission to apply for judicial review.
  2. The difficulty in many ways in the case arises because of the course that Mr Jones has sought to take in seeking redress for what he firmly believes to have been wrongs done to him by his employers and the members of staff of his employers in 1999. He had been employed by a company called CSC Limited from January to March 1999 as a freelance computer systems analyst and programmer. Because of events which happened he was dismissed on 19th March 1999. He believes that that was the result effectively of a persistent campaign to make him appear to be incompetent in his job; in other words, there was a conspiracy to make sure that he was ousted. He threatened to sue his co-workers. Then CSC Limited told him to leave immediately on the grounds of incompetence but, if he agreed not to sue, he would be given two weeks' notice.
  3. As a result of those events, Mr Jones asked the police in August 1999 to investigate the allegations that he was making of blackmail and conspiracy. By letter dated 6th January 2000 the Crown Prosecution Service informed Mr Jones that it was primarily a civil matter and that the police declined to investigate or prosecute. That decision incensed Mr Jones, who believed that his human rights had been infringed. He believed that his right to work had been infringed and that in the circumstances the court was required to provide him with a remedy against the police or the Crown Prosecution Service, who should have prosecuted.
  4. The matter came before Lord Justice Schiemann and Mr Justice Poole, who refused the application for permission. They came to the conclusion, on the material before them and on the facts before them, that the question which was raised was essentially one of discretion; that it was for the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether it was appropriate to prosecute in the circumstances of the case, and that the decision that had been reached was not one with which the court would interfere. In other words, they concluded that the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service was not irrational. They also concluded that it was not unlawful; in other words, that there was no obligation upon the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute.
  5. Mr Jones has the firm belief that that decision was wrong and that the court failed to engage with his arguments as to the impact of European legislation and the Human Rights Act and his rights thereunder. However, instead of seeking permission to appeal against that order, he made the present application to the Divisional Court for it judicially to review the previous decision. Not surprisingly, Lord Justice Tuckey and Mr Justice Silber made it plain to him that that was an inappropriate course to take. The Divisional Court was not capable of providing him with any remedy in relation to a previous decision of the Divisional Court. That was not a jurisdiction it could exercise.
  6. He has accordingly come to this court, and it is apparent from what he has said that essentially he is not necessarily disputing the Divisional Court's conclusion that it did not have jurisdiction to deal with his complaint. He is in effect saying that he is entitled, de novo before the Court of Appeal, to a remedy and that this court is obliged to give effect to the United Kingdom's obligations under the European Treaties and the Human Rights Act to give him that remedy via these proceedings.
  7. It seems to me that there are two fundamental problems which Mr Jones faces. First, this court only deals with appeals. It does not have an original jurisdiction, which is what he would wish essentially for the court to exercise. The matter, therefore, is only before me strictly as an application for permission to appeal the last judicial review decision. However, if one scrapes away those technicalities, it seems to me that we reach the position that Mr Jones's application today can only properly be described, if it is to have any validity at all, not as an application in relation to the last judicial review decision, but in essence as an application out of time to challenge the original decision of the Divisional Court, because he undoubtedly had a right to ask this court for permission to appeal against that decision but he chose not to do so. He is a litigant in person and, although the courts have sought to try to reduce the labyrinth of procedures as best can be, nonetheless there are technicalities as to jurisdiction and so forth which are bound to create difficulties for litigants in person, which we should be loath to use as blocks to the achievement of justice, if it can be avoided.
  8. With that in mind, I have in fact considered with some care the background facts relating to the original decision of Lord Justice Schiemann and Mr Justice Poole in order to see whether or not there is any arguable basis upon which it could be said that that decision was capable of being challenged in this court. I fully understand Mr Jones's clear views as to the merits of his case. But having looked at the papers and the decision of Lord Justice Schiemann and Mr Justice Poole, I am quite satisfied that this court would not interfere with that decision. The court would conclude, as they did, that the decisions taken by the prosecuting authorities were not in fact decisions which were unlawful or irrational.
  9. Equally, there is no basis upon which one could go further in relation to the claims that Mr Jones makes as to an entitlement to some sort of remedy for conspiracy, absent an action by Mr Jones against those who so conspired against him or against the company on the basis that it was, as he says, abusing its position, when the High Court would be able to provide him, if he established that he was entitled to it, with an appropriate remedy. That is the way proceedings could properly be constituted in a way which would protect his rights. Unfortunately, the consequence would be that in those circumstances he would become embroiled in what he has described as "the third world war", which I readily understand he does not wish to be involved in.
  10. For those reasons, I am afraid I cannot help Mr Jones today and I must dismiss his application.
  11. Order: application for permission to appeal dismissed.

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