Clarke v Edinburgh and District Tramways Co: HL 1919

The House considered the ability of an appellate court to reconsider the facts.
Held: The privileges enjoyed by a trial judge extend not only to questions of credibility.
Lord Shaw said that the judge enjoys ‘those advantages, sometimes broad and sometimes subtle, which are the privilege of the Judge who heard and tried the case.’ and ‘In my opinion, the duty of an appellate court in those circumstances is for each judge of it to put to himself, as I now do in this case, the question, am I who sit here without those advantages, sometimes broad and sometimes subtle, which are the privileges of the judge who heard and tried the case- in a position, not having those privileges, to come to a clear conclusion that the judge who heard them was plainly wrong.’
Lord Shaw of Dunfermline,
1919 SC (HL) 35
Scotland
Cited by:
CitedThomson v Kvaerner Govan Limited HL 31-Jul-2003
The defendant appealed reversal on appeal of the award of damages aganst them. The pursuer had been working within the hull of a ship, and the plank on which he was standing had snapped, causing him to fall. The plank should have been of sufficient . .
ApprovedWatt (or Thomas) v Thomas HL 1947
When Scots Appellate Court may set decision aside
The House considered when it was appropriate for an appellate court in Scotland to set aside the judgment at first instance.
Lord Thankerton said: ‘(1) Where a question of fact has been tried by a judge without a jury, and there is no question . .
CitedBarber v Somerset County Council HL 1-Apr-2004
A teacher sought damages from his employer after suffering a work related stress breakdown.
Held: The definition of the work expected of him did not justify the demand placed upon him. The employer could have checked up on him during his . .
CitedSimmons v British Steel plc HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant was injured at work as a consequence of the defender’s negligence. His injuries became more severe, and he came to suffer a disabling depression.
Held: the Inner House had been wrong to characterise the Outer House decision as . .
CitedWhitehouse v Jordan HL 17-Dec-1980
The plaintiff sued for brain damage suffered at birth by use of forceps at the alleged professional negligence of his doctor. The Court of Appeal had reversed the judge’s finding in his favour.
Held: In this case most of the evidence at issue . .
CitedThorner v Major and others HL 25-Mar-2009
The deceased had made a will including a gift to the claimant, but had then revoked the will. The claimant asserted that an estoppel had been created in his favour over a farm, and that the defendant administrators of the promisor’s estate held it . .
ApprovedPowell v Streatham Manor Nursing Home HL 1935
Where the Judge at the trial has come to a conclusion upon the question which of the witnesses, whom he has seen and heard, are trustworthy and which are not, he is normally in a better position to judge of this matter than the appellate tribunal . .
CitedMcGraddie v McGraddie and Another (Scotland) SC 31-Jul-2013
The parties were father and son, living at first in the US. On the son’s wife becoming seriously ill, the son returned to Scotland. The father advanced a substantal sum for the purchase of a property to live in, but the son put the properties in his . .
CitedNicklinson and Lamb v United Kingdom ECHR 16-Jul-2015
The applicants, suffering life threatening and severely disabling conditions, complained of laws which would allow the criminal prosecutions of those assisting them to end their lives. . .
CitedDB v Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland SC 1-Feb-2017
The appellant said that the police Service of Northern Ireland had failed properly to police the ‘flags protest’ in 2012 and 2013. The issue was not as to the care and effort taken, but an alleged misunderstanding of their powers.
Held: Treacy . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 February 2021; Ref: scu.186348