Legal News

Privy Council emphasises limited role of appeal courts in unfair prejudice claim (Ming Siu Hung v J F Ming Inc)

Published on: 19 January 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Privy Council emphasises limited role of appeal courts in unfair prejudice claim (Ming Siu Hung v J F Ming Inc)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Dispute Resolution analysis: Overturning the decision of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in the context of an unfair prejudice claim, the Privy Council restored the initial decision and reminded practitioners about the limitations on appeal courts when reviewing lower courts’ decisions. Unless the initial court had considered factors that it should not have done or omitted to consider ones that should have been assessed, an appeal court can only interfere to correct errors of law or a perverse decision. The discouragement of what the Privy Council termed ‘undue appellate activism’ prevents appeal judges being tempted to substitute their own findings of fact, based on reading transcripts, for judgments made after hearing the full evidence, as trial judges do. The decision of the Privy Council endorsed Lord Justice Lewison’s memorable metaphor in Fage UK Ltd v Chobani UK Ltd that trial judges have regard to ‘the whole sea of evidence […] whereas an appeal court will only be island-hopping’. Written by Ian Gascoigne, dispute lawyer and legal trainer. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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