O’Brien -v- The Personal Injuries Assessment Board & Anor, [2005] IEHC 101 (2005)

Docket Number:2004 No. 785 JR
Party Name:O’Brien, The Personal Injuries Assessment Board & Anor
Judge:Mac Menamin J.
 
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Neutral Citation No. [2005] IEHC 101THE HIGH COURT[2004 No. 785 JR]BETWEENDECLAN O'BRIENAPPLICANTAND

THE PERSONAL INJURIES ASSESSMENT BOARD AND THE ATTORNEY GENERALRESPONDENTSJUDGMENT of Mr. Justice John MacMenamin dated the 11th day of March, 2005

Having delivered judgment herein on 21st January, 2005 I adjourned the matter so as to allow counsel to agree a draft declaration giving effect to the judgment. It has not been possible to reach such agreement.

Consequently I will now deal with the form of the order and certain ancillary matters regarding costs.

Prior to doing so I wish to point out the following matters.

  1. It is clear that identified issues to be determined in the case were agreed, reduced to writing and set out in an issue paper. They are recited in the judgment.

  2. It is equally clear that the parameters of the case were set out in the written and oral submissions made by the parties before, and in the course of argument in the case.

  3. That position is equally crystal clear from the submissions made by each of the parties during the course of the case.

  4. The true range of the issues in the case are also identified in the transcript and were fully addressed by applicant, respondent and amicus curiae.

  5. The key issue is: whether the respondent in declining to accept or act upon the authorisation dated 16th August, 2004 (described as a "confirmation and authority by client") by corresponding directly with the applicant (and copying such correspondence to his solicitors) is acting in breach of s. 7 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act, 2003, or without authority under any other provision of the Act".

  6. I do not believe that on any fair reading of the transcript it could be inferred that the matters truly in issue in the case were confined as to whether or not the question of the conduct of the respondent was ultra vires s. 7 of the Act simplicter. What was at issue was the question of vires in the context of the entire Act.

  7. Each counsel made submissions on the vires question having regard to the totality of the act, not any section alone; and certainly not confined to s. 7.

  8. The identification of issue was confirmed in the course of the submissions on costs made on 1st February, 2005.

  9. It was for that precise reason that I indicated that the approved version of the judgment would deal specifically with that point. The matter is dealt with in my findings on 1st February last. This was without objection from any party on...

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