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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 >> Siddiqui, R (On the Application Of) v Lord Chancellor & Ors  EWCA Civ 1040 (10 May 2019)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 1040
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ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
(MRS JUSTICE CUTTS)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF SIDDIQUI
|- and -
|LORD CHANCELLOR AND OTHERS
Lower Ground, 18-22 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1JS
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Email: email@example.com
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Ms Shaheed Fatima Q.C. and Mr Eesvan Krishnan (instructed by the Government Legal Department) appeared on behalf of the Respondent
Crown Copyright ©
SIR TIMOTHY LLOYD:
"(2) The judge considering the application on paper may direct that the application be determined at an oral hearing, and must so direct if the judge is of the opinion that the application cannot be fairly determined on paper without an oral hearing."
Then there are ancillary provisions including that the oral hearing is to be listed no later than 14 days from the date of the direction unless the court otherwise directs.
"I do not reach this conclusion unimpeded by a sense of unease about a scheme which could theoretically permit a challenge, even on a matter of very great public importance, to be brought to an end without a hearing in open court. It is, however, proportionate because it recognises that there are some cases in which an oral hearing will be required for the fair and proper determination of whether permission should be granted, and others in which it will not. There will be cases in which there will be nothing to be gained from an oral hearing. Such cases will include cases which are, on examination of the papers, totally without merit. In such cases there is no point in prolonging the proceedings or incurring expense by having an oral hearing."
Later in the paragraph she said:
"The effect of the measure should not be, having regard to those features, to deprive a litigant of an oral hearing in any case in which it is required for the proper determination of whether or not to grant permission. On that basis I do not consider that the impact of the measure is disproportionate to its likely benefit."
"In the present context, if the process of analysis of ways in which to address the current and increasing workload of the Court of Appeal leads to the conclusion that nothing short of an element of abrogation of the right to oral renewal will bring waiting times back to an acceptable level, then there may have to be a straight trade-off between delay and a narrowing or abrogation of that right, which simply cannot be avoided."
"careful time-costing of the available proposals, set alongside the evidence derived from the Genn/Balmer report demonstrated that, without an increase in the number of its judges, the court simply could not even stem the annual excess in its workload (currently running at over 9,400 hours per annum) let alone make any inroad into the unacceptable delays caused by the backlog (of more than 46,000 hours) without at least replacing the right of oral renewal of PTA applications. The highlights of that time-costing analysis are set out in Annex 4, section 1. Accordingly, the court faced an inevitable increase in the delays in its handling of appeals, with no other available means of stemming, let alone reducing them."
Order: Application refused