Q&As

Where, following the pronouncement of a judgment, it is brought to the attention of the court that the judgment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding as to the availability of a resource to a party, can the court revise its judgment prior to the perfection of any order?

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Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 08/10/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where, following the pronouncement of a judgment, it is brought to the attention of the court that the judgment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding as to the availability of a resource to a party, can the court revise its judgment prior to the perfection of any order?

Whether a judge is able to reverse a decision after handing down judgment but before any order has been perfected has been the subject of much debate. It has been the case for some time that the court does have such a power, and until 1972 there was no real limit as to the circumstances in which this could be done. The position appeared to simply be that a judge had jurisdiction to reverse a decision until their order was perfected, however once the order was perfected it could not be amended.

In Re Barrell Enterprises, it was noted that once a judgment has been delivered orally or by handing down, this could be altered any time before giving effect to the judgment has been perfected. However, this case also introduced a caveat that this can only be done in exceptional circumstance. At paras [22]–[23] the court noted that:

‘When oral judgments have been given, either in

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