Purdy v Cambran: 17 Dec 1999

It is necessary to concentrate on the intrinsic justice of a particular case in the light of the overriding objective. ‘For the reasons which I have just given, I think that the question is whether the claim has no real prospect of succeeding at trial and that it has to be answered having regard to the overriding objective of dealing with the case justly. But the point which is of crucial importance lies in the answer to the further question that then needs to be asked, which is – what is to be the scope of that inquiry? . . The method by which issues of fact are tried in our courts is well settled. After the normal processes of discovery and interrogatories have been completed, the parties are allowed to lead their evidence so that the trial judge can determine where the truth lies in the light of that evidence. To that rule there are some well-recognised exceptions. For example, it may be clear as a matter of law at the outset that even if a party were to succeed in proving all the facts that he offers to prove he will not be entitled to the remedy that he seeks. In that event a trial of the facts would be a waste of time and money, and it is proper that the action should be taken out of court as soon as possible. In other cases it may be possible to say with confidence before trial that the factual basis for the claim is fanciful because it is entirely without substance. It may be clear beyond question that the statement of facts is contradicted by all the documents or other material on which it is based. The simpler the case the easier it is likely to be take that view and resort to what is properly called summary judgment. But more complex cases are unlikely to be capable of being resolved in that way without conducting a mini-trial on the documents without discovery and without oral evidence. As Lord Woolf said in Swain v Hillman, at p 95, that is not the object of the rule. It is designed to deal with cases that are not fit for trial at all.’


May LJ


Unreported, 17 December 1999, [2000] CP Rep 67


Civil Procedure Rules


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedAsiansky Television Plc and Another v Bayer-Rosin CA 11-Nov-2003
. .
CitedDi Placito v Slater and others CA 19-Dec-2003
The parties had earlier compromised their dispute, with the claimant undertaking not to lodge any further claim unless he did so within a certain time. They now sought to commence action.
Held: When considering whether to discharge such an . .
CitedArrow Nominees Inc and Another v Blackledge and Others CA 22-Jun-2000
A petition had been lodged alleging unfair prejudice in the conduct of the company’s affairs. The defendants alleged that when applying for relief under section 459, the claimants had attempted to pervert the course of justice by producing forged or . .
CitedAsiansky Television Plc and Another v Bayer-Rosin CA 19-Nov-2001
The court considered the circumstancs allowing a striking out.
Held: Consideration should be given to the question whether striking out the claim or defence would be disproportionate and, except perhaps where striking it out would be plainly . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 07 December 2022; Ref: scu.187461