South Wales Fire and Rescue Service v Smith: Admn 10 May 2011

Moses LJ said: ‘For many years, the court sought to underline how serious false and lying claims are to the administration of justice. False claims undermine a system whereby those who are injured as a result of the fault of their employer or a defendant can receive just compensation.
They undermine that system in a number of serious ways. They impose upon those liable for such claims the burden of analysis, the burden of searching out those claims which are justified and those claims which are unjustified. They impose a burden upon honest claimants and honest claims when this response to those claims, understandably those who are liable are required to discern those which are deserving and those which are not.
Quite apart from that effect on those involved in such litigation is the effect upon the court. Our system of adversarial justice depends upon openness, transparency and above all honesty. The system is seriously damaged by lying claims.
It is in those circumstances that the courts have on numerous occasions sought to emphasise how serious it is for someone to make a false claim either in relation to liability or in relation to claims for compensation as a result of liability. Those who make such false claims in court should expect to go to prison. There is no other way to underline the gravity of the conduct. There is no other way to deter those who may be tempted to make such claims and there is no other way to improve the administration of justice.’


Moses LJ, Dobbs J


[2011] EWHC 1749 (Admin)




England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedFairclough Homes Ltd v Summers SC 27-Jun-2012
The respondent had made a personal injury claim, but had then been discovered to have wildly and dishonestly exaggerated the damages claim. The defendant argued that the court should hand down some condign form of punishment, and appealed against . .
CitedLondon Borough of Havering, Regina (on The Application of) v Bowyer and Others Admn 27-Jul-2012
The court considered the sentencing of defendants for making false claims.
Held: The defendants each received immediate sentences of imprisonment ranging from one month to four months. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 03 November 2022; Ref: scu.462988