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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

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Cite as: [2013] EWCA Civ 60

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Neutral Citation Number: [2013] EWCA Civ 60
Case No: B2/2012/2544


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
16th January 2013

B e f o r e :




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(DAR Transcript of
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The Appellant appeared in person.
The Respondent did not appear and was not represented.



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    Lord Justice Longmore:

  1. This is an application for permission to appeal brought by Mr Nathan Roberts in respect of a decision of HHJ Armitage QC in the Manchester County Court, which that judge handed down on 24 August 2012. The position is that Mr Roberts brought an action, which I will call the first action, against the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police for defamation of character, among other things. That claim was in due course settled by agreement, and a Tomlin Order incorporating that agreement was drawn up and made an order of the court. Mr Roberts then brought a second action which was for breach of the provisions of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act, based on the retention of a record by the police in relation to occasions when they had encountered Mr Roberts, for example when he had been stopped by the police but no charges had been brought. This has been referred to as the claimant's nominal profile. He made some 17 separate complaints under the Data Protection Act, some of which were also made under the Human Rights Act, and those complaints are incorporated in a schedule which is at pages 47 to 54 of the bundle in front of me.
  2. At the same time as bringing that second action, he complained that the police had not complied with the terms of the agreement incorporated into the Tomlin Order which settled the first action. The judge held that there had been, in fact, compliance with the Tomlin Order, and no issue arises now about that. That left the second action, in which the judge said that three issues arose: firstly, whether the claims the subject matter of the second action had been settled by the compromise of the first action; secondly, whether the human rights claims if they had not been settled were out of time, the time limit in respect of the Human Rights Act claims being one year unless an extension of time is granted; and thirdly, if neither of the claims under the Data Protection Act or the claims under the Human Rights Act had been settled or were out of time, whether they could be substantiated. The judge decided that the claims had all been settled by the compromise agreement incorporated into the Tomlin Order in the first action, and that meant it was unnecessary for him to consider the other two issues. But no doubt as a courtesy to Mr Roberts, he did consider those issues.
  3. Mr Roberts has now sought to appeal; that application has been refused by Jackson LJ on the papers, and the matter now comes before me, and I have had the benefit of being addressed by Mr Roberts for the usual 20 minutes but also reading his original skeleton argument and his response to the order of Jackson LJ. It is clear that he is an articulate and well-informed person, and indeed he tells me he might even consider the possibility of doing a law degree at some stage.
  4. But to go back to the matters in issue, the judge set out clause 2 of the agreement incorporated into the Tomlin Order, which provides:
  5. "2. Mr Roberts accepts the above terms in full and final satisfaction of his claims in the said action number 1OL90045 and of any claim or potential claim which he has or may have up to the date hereof against GMP, or any of his officers or employees howsoever arising under statute, common law or otherwise."

    The judge held that was a wide clause. He also pointed out that the claims under the Data Protection Act had in fact been referred to by Mr Roberts in his statement of case. He held in paragraph 35 of his judgment that the meaning of the compromise agreement was that Mr Roberts had agreed that he had no claim about data which were to be retained after the agreed deletions as set out in the Tomlin Order, and that all potential infringements of the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act had been resolved by the agreed deletions, and the compensation accepted in respect of the claim in his first action, because these claims under the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act were based on facts preceding the date of the agreement, which was 16 June 2011, and he therefore dismissed the claim.

  6. Mr Roberts maintains that, although the judge was entitled to refer to the statement of case that he had made, he, Mr Roberts, was not in a position to know at the time that the statement of case was settled in the first action whether the claims under the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act were good claims or not, and therefore he is entitled to pursue them now. He also says that the nominal profile is a living document, so that he can always make claims in respect of it, and indeed he says he may wish to make further claims. But the position is, in my judgment, exactly as the judge decided it was, that claims based on facts which occurred before the date of the agreement were compromised by the wide wording of clause 2, and I fear that this court, if I permitted a full appeal, would inevitably come to that conclusion.
  7. So I cannot grant permission to appeal in this case. I have, of course, considered the issues and arguments that related to the time-barring of the Human Rights Act, and in relation to the matters dealt with as a matter of substance by the judge. I can see no reason why the judge's decisions are wrong on the face of it, but as I say it is all academic because inevitably this court would decide that they had been compromised.
  8. I therefore fear that despite Mr Roberts' very attractive submissions to me this afternoon, I cannot grant him permission to appeal.
  9. Order: Application refused.

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