The claimant was subject to a cvil proceedings order, requiring to obtain leave before issuing proceedings. He now sought to appeal a finding against him that he should have sought such permission before applying for permission to issue judicial review proceedings.
Held: The Court of Appeal may not hear an appeal from a refusal of leave to a vexatious litigant to issue proceedings. Lord Donaldson MR said: ‘The proper way to deal with the matter, in my judgment, is that, upon an application being made by someone to whom section 42 applies for leave to apply for the judicial review of the decision, the matter should be placed before one of the judges who habitually deal with applications for leave under Ord. 53 r. 3 and that he should consider the matter on the footing that he is faced with an application under the section 42 order and an application under Order 53. If he decides that there is a case for giving leave under Order 53, he will of course have no difficulty in deciding that it is a case in which he should also give leave under the section 42 order, and he should give both leaves. If he decides that there is no case for giving leave under Order 53 he equally will have no difficulty in refusing leave under the section 42 order.
It is at the next stage that things will be different according to whether or not he has given leave under the section 42 order. If he refuses leave under the section 42 order, that is the end of the matter, because there is no right of appeal . . If he gives leave, the respondent will be unable to attack the leave under section 42 because that is final, but he may be able to attack the leave under Order 53. At that stage the vexatious litigant, having obtained his leave under section 42, will be treated in all respects as if he were not subject to the order.’
There is generally no appeal against a refusal of leave to commence proceedings to somebody deemed a vexatious litigant.
Lord Donaldson MR
Times 11-Aug-1994, Ind Summary 15-Aug-1994
Supreme Court Act 1981 42
England and Wales
Updated: 09 April 2021; Ref: scu.81871