Brownfield Restoration [Ireland] Ltd v Wicklow County Council

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Richard Humphreys
Judgment Date26 April 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] IEHC 310
Docket Number[2008 No. 56SP] [2005 No. 89SP]
CourtHigh Court
Date26 April 2017

[2017] IEHC 310

THE HIGH COURT

Humphreys J.

[2008 No. 56SP]

[2005 No. 89SP]

BETWEEN
BROWNFIELD RESTORATION IRELAND LIMITED

AND

DEAN WASTE CO. LIMITED
PLAINTIFFS
AND
WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL
DEFENDANT
AND
WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL
PLAINITFF
AND
JOHN O'REILLY, BROWNFIELD RESTORATION IRELAND LIMITED, RAYMOND STOKES, ANNE STOKES, SWALCLIFFE LIMITED TRADING AS DUBLIN WASTE, LOUIS MORIARTY, EILEEN MORIARTY, DEAN WASTE CO. LIMITED, WILLIAM JOHN CAMPBELL, ANTHONY DEAN, UNA DEAN

AND

SAMUEL J STEARS
DEFENDANTS

(No. 1)

Practice & Procedures – Modular trial of issues – Cost-savvy – Jurisdiction of Court – Risk of decision on hypothetical

Facts: The defendant in the first set of proceedings sought an order for modular trial of issues between the parties. It is contended that the trial of those issues would save unnecessary cost and time and there would not be any risk of determining the hypothetical.

Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys granted an order for the modular trial of the relevant issues. The Court found that since the issues were determined, there was no risk in deciding a hypothetical. The Court held that the evidence had concluded and the cross-examination of witnesses had taken place. The Court, however, held that if any issues needed to be postponed, the Court would retain the jurisdiction to postpone it to the next module.

RULING of Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys delivered on the 26th day of April, 2017
1

Mr. James Connolly S.C. for Wicklow County Council has brought a notice of motion dated the 24th April, 2017 seeking directions as to a modular trial. He relies on Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited (In Liquidation) v. PNC Global Investment Servicing (Europe) Limited (now known as BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (International) Limited) [2012] 4 I.R. 681 which establishes that there is jurisdiction in the court (as part of its inherent jurisdiction to regulate the manner in which a trial is conducted) to direct a modular trial such that some issues are determined ahead of others. That decision relies on a stream of jurisprudence including Cork Plastics Manufacturing v. Ineos [2008] IEHC 93 (a judgment of Clarke J.), P.J. Carroll and Co. Ltd. v. Minister for Health No. 2 [2005] 3 I.R. 457 (a judgment of Kelly J. as he then was) and Millar v. Peeples [1995] N.I. 6. The jurisprudence supports the view that one should take a broad and realistic view of what is just and convenient in that regard seeking to avoid unnecessary expense in making effective use of court time and balancing the advantages and disadvantages of modularisation to each party.

2

At p. 693 of Weavering, Clarke J. (quoting from his judgment in Cork Plastics Manufacturing, para. 3.1) stated that the default position is ‘a single trial of all issues at the same time’. In considering whether to depart from that, one must have regard to all relevant matters. One is the relative length of different modules. In the present case we have had four witnesses so far; we are now in the sixth week of the hearing and there are another nine witnesses at least to go. The question of significant overlaps in the evidence also arises and here the points at issue in the potential Module I seem to be reasonably discrete. The question of risk of unfairness must be considered but it seems to me that does not arise here. Mr. Connolly submits that a modular trial would be an efficient management of court time and would give rise to a saving of costs, and that the points that potentially could be distributed between the different modules are separable. The one identifiable downside of modularisation at this point is the risk of deciding a hypothetical. Mr. Connolly says that any such risk is itself...

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6 cases
  • Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v Wicklow County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 7 July 2017
    ...v. O'Reilly (No. 5) (ex tempore, not circulated), O'Keeffe J. (20th December, 2011); (vi) Brownfield v. Wicklow County Council (No. 1) [2017] IEHC 310 (Unreported, High Court, 26th April, 2017); and (vii) Brownfield v. Wicklow County Council (No. 2) [2017] IEHC 397 (Unreported, High Court......
  • Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v Wicklow County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 16 May 2023
    ...actions carried out were inadequate or inappropriate. (vi) In Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v. Wicklow County Council (No. 1) [2017] IEHC 310, ( [2017] 4 JIC 2604 Unreported, High Court, 26th April, 2017) (noted Joseph Richardson BL (2017) 24(2) I.P.E.L.J. 56), I granted the council's ......
  • Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v Wicklow County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 18 December 2023
    ...pending proposed remediation actions by the council; (vii) in Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v. Wicklow County Council (No. 1) [2017] IEHC 310, ( [2017] 4 JIC 2604 Unreported, High Court, 26th April, 2017) (noted Joseph Richardson BL (2017) 24(2) I.P.E.L.J. 56), I granted the council's ......
  • Brownfield Restoration [Ireland] Ltd v Wicklow County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 21 March 2023
    ...actions carried out were inadequate or inappropriate. (vi). In Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v. Wicklow County Council (No. 1) [2017] IEHC 310, ( [2017] 4 JIC 2604 Unreported, High Court, 26th April, 2017) (noted Joseph Richardson BL (2017) 24(2) I.P.E.L.J. 56), I granted the council's......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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