Wednesday, 14 March 2012


The Supreme Court has today published the nuclear test veterans judgment. By a 4-3 majority the claimants were thrown out(as i predicted ).
At least we now have a clear statement of the law in a 79 page judgment as to date of knowledge and exercise of discretion following a 4 day hearing where 3 silks and 4 juniors appeared.
No we don't.The judgment is all over the place and Lord Walker , with utter candour, said at para.68 of the transcript that the decision "will not be an ideal source of guidance in lower courts". There are massive contradictions and even those who seemingly agree with one another don't.
Thankfully the claimant solicitors were acting on a cfa out of a sense of duty rather than for financial gain. Just as well since they will not get their costs put at £17.5 million (para. 106 of the transcript ) and will be liable to pay the winning defendant .And that bill was for a preliminary issue only; limitation.
My profound thanks to Ken 'ask me anything 'Slade at Weightmans who got a hot transcript to me whilst i was talking at Liverpool Law Society.Interestingly , he got the result right 3 years ago when we discussed this.