Hippolyte v London Borough of Bexley: CA 1995

In many cases the trial judge is in a better position than an appellate court to make the correct finding as to inferences from the facts found: ‘It is in my judgment very important to bear in mind that this is an appeal on issues of fact, albeit that it involves, principally, a challenge to inferences. It is important to note the approach that the law requires of an appellant court. Where there has been no misdirection on fact by the trial judge, the presumption is that his conclusion is correct. The appellate court will only reverse it where it is convinced that it is wrong. In such a case, if the appellate court is merely left in doubt as to the correctness of the conclusion, then it will uphold it. For my part, I am satisfied that nowhere in the judgment is there to be found any misdirection by the judge. Indeed, I pay tribute to a careful and balanced judgment. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that even in relation to inferences from established fact, a trial judge is often in a superior position to the Court of Appeal. This is, in my judgment, such a case. I say that because what we are concerned with is a judge’s interpretation of primary facts, and it is that interpretation which has proved to be the decisive matter in the case.’
Steyn LJ
[1995] PIQR P309
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedKearn-Price v Kent County Council CA 30-Oct-2002
The claimant was injured, being hit in the face by a football in a school playground. It was before school started. There had been accidents, and there were rules which had not been enforced. The school appealed a finding of negligence.
Held: . .

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Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.214303