Abacha and Another v Compagnie Noga D’Importantion Et D’Exportation Sa: QBD 3 May 2001

The court had handed to the parties a draft judgement, but one party then asked the judge to reconsider it.
Rix LJ referred to the need to balance the concern for finality against the ‘proper concern that courts should not be held by their own decisions in a straitjacket pending the formality of drawing up the order’. He continued: ‘Provided that the formula of ‘exceptional circumstances’ is not turned into a straitjacket of its own, and the interests of justice and its constituents as laid down in the overriding principle are held closely to mind, I do not think that the proper balance will be lost. Clearly, it cannot be in every case that a litigant should be entitled to ask the judge to think again. Therefore, on one ground or another the case must raise considerations, in the interests of justice, which are out of the ordinary, extraordinary or exceptional. An exceptional case does not have to be uniquely special. ‘Strong reasons’ is perhaps an acceptable alternative to ‘exceptional circumstances’. It will necessarily be in an exceptional case that strong reasons are shown for reconsideration.’

Rix LJ
[2001] 3 All ER 513, [2001] EWHC QB B1, [2001] CP Rep 93
England and Wales
CitedIn re Barrell Enterprises CA 1972
A judge has power to reconsider a judgement which he has delivered before the order consequent upon it has been sealed, but the judge should only exercise this power if there are strong reasons for doing so. When oral judgments have been given the . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromCompagnie Noga D’Importation Et D’Exportation Sa v Abacha and others CA 23-Jul-2003
. .
CitedMcKeown v British Horseracing Authority Admn 12-Mar-2010
The judge had been asked to revise his draft judgment. The court set out the circumstances under which a draft judgment might be amended and why in this case he had rejected the request save as to clerical errors. . .
CitedRe L and B (Children) SC 20-Feb-2013
The court was asked as to the extent to which a court, having once declared its decision, could later change its mind. Though this case arose with in care proceedings, the court asked it as a general question. The judge in a fact finding hearing in . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 17 January 2022; Ref: scu.241555