Case Report: Joyce v O’Brien & anor [2013] EWCA Civ 546

Ex turpi causa; joint enterprise; recovery of damages ‘Where it can be said that the claimant’s cause of action arises in course of their participation in, or furtherance of a criminal activity, the claimant is prohibited from recovering damages due to sound policy reasons.’ In the case of David Joyce, the Court of Appeal recently …
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Human Rights Act: Claims can proceed for soldiers’ deaths in Iraq

Robert Weir QC discuss the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Smith v Ministry Of Defence ‘It is one thing to say that higher level decisions may fall outwith article 2 and another to translate that general guidance into a determination on the facts of a particular case as to whether the claim made …
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DSM-5: Medically unexplained chronic pain in personal injury litigation

Dr Leigh A Neal and Dr Jon Valentine examine the important changes in psychiatric diagnosis ‘The reliability of determining that a somatic symptom is medically unexplained is limited.’ The diagnosis and treatment of medically unexplained pain is complicated by a plethora of diagnoses and differences in approach between psychiatrists and specialists in pain management. The …
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Cross-Examination: The undesired desirable solution

Harry Lambert looks at the powers and duties of civil courts in sexual abuse cases when an unrepresented defendant wishes to cross-examine the complainant in person ‘Victims frequently have rich psychiatric histories and brittle vulnerabilities. Equally often they will be prone, if not to permanent harm, at least to relapse under the stress of being …
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Costs: Medical agency fees under the spotlight

Paul Jones reviews a recent case that considers recoverability of fees ‘The defendant did not challenge the principle that the reasonable fees of a medical agency are recoverable, but it did submit that the paying party and the court could not ascertain whether those fees were in fact reasonable.’ With the growth in personal injury …
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Mental Capacity Act 2005: The real cost of professional deputyships

Christine Bunting and Huw Ponting explain the need for a tailored approach ‘Deputyship costs can amount to many hundreds of thousands of pounds in the case of a young person with a good life expectancy, so they will form an important part of the schedule of loss.’The introduction of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) …
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