- Temporal gymnastics—practical guidance for Presumption of Death Act 2013 applications (Austin v Mitchell)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: In this case, the court was asked to make a declaration of presumed death under section 2 of the Presumption of Death Act 2013 (PDA 2013) in circumstances where the missing person had gone missing while travelling in Canada and had not been seen alive since May 1989. The claimant, the missing person’s mother, has campaigned tirelessly since 1989 to discover further information surrounding the disappearance. The court held that the missing person died at 12.01pm on 27 May 1989, British Columbia time. Master Shuman, in making the declaration of presumed death, provided helpful guidance to practitioners on the procedural issues required under PDA 2013, including the requirements for advertisement of the claim and the relevant considerations in determining the date and time of presumed death in circumstances where the court is satisfied that the missing person has died but is uncertain at which moment during a period the missing person died, in accordance with PDA 2013, s 2(3). Written by Tom Deely, senior associate at Russell Cooke LLP.
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