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Jamie-Rae Cook (By her litigation friend & Mother Karen Cook) v (1) David Andrew Cook (2) Elizabeth Harriet Walker (2011), QBD, 28/06/11


It was the normal rule, and desirable practice, that all outstanding issues between the parties should, where possible, be resolved at a single hearing and the principle of the public interest in the finality of litigation remained crucial. Further, a judge should not be tempted to invent rules to make up for perceived deficiencies in statutory provision. Although the court had the power to postpone some issues for later resolution, that was to be regarded as a rare or exceptional course requiring some tangible reason to justify it. While from the point of view of a defendant or an insurer there were obvious disadvantages in postponing the resolution of quantum issues, there could be circumstances in which a long-term postponement might be necessary in the interests of justice, where, for example, the nature of the damage was clear but quantification could not yet be meaningfully assessed. The instant case was a complicated one in which the long-term outcomes for C were uncertain and speculative. In order to do justice in accordance with the overriding objective it was plainly right to make an order where the assessment of damages was to be staged.


  • High Court (Queen's Bench Division)
  • Thursday, 28 July 2011