watson jA

4.13: Appointment of case management judge
4.14: Authority of case management judge
4.15: Case management judge presiding at summary trial and trial
14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

The Plaintiff, Al-Ghamdi, applied for permission to appeal a Decision of a single Justice of the Court of Appeal to a three member panel of the Court of Appeal. The single Appeal Justice had dismissed Al-Ghamdi’s Application to re-instate his late-filed Appeal on the basis that it was unmeritorious. Al-Ghamdi was appealing a Case Management Order on the basis that the Case Management Justice was biased because the Justice had been appointed to the bench from a firm which represented one of the Defendants.

Justice Watson noted that the burden on the Applicant to obtain permission to appeal under Rule 14.5(2) requires the Applicant to establish that the Order of the single Justice being reviewed:

(a)        Raises a question of general importance which on its own deserves panel review;

(b)        Rests on a reviewable and material issue of law worthy of panel review;

(c)        Involves an unreasonable exercise of discretion which had a meaningful effect on the outcome of the decision and the outcome is worthy of panel review; or

(d)        Rests on a palpable and overriding error of important facts effecting the Order made and the Order is worthy of panel review.

Watson J.A. noted that, while the language of the test for review may vary, at least one of the criteria should be made out, or it will not be in the public interest to have a panel review. In this case, Al-Ghamdi objected to the Decision not to reinstate his Appeal on the basis that it was unreasonable to conclude that the Appeal would not succeed, and that the Appeal Justice who dismissed his initial Application to re-instate was biased. Justice Watson observed that nothing in the record supported any inference that the Justice was biased. Further, His Lordship was not persuaded that the single Court of Appeal Justice erred. The reasons provided for not re-instating the Appeal were clearly defensible on the facts and the law; there was no palpable or overriding error or any mis-balancing of factors; and the Appeal had no prospect of success. Finally, Watson J.A. noted that a panel review would not move the underlying proceedings forward, which Al-Ghamdi argued was important to him. The Application was dismissed.

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