What might the outcome have been had Mitchell been appealed to the Supreme Court?

Mitchell was no doubt a controversial decision but for whatever reason it was not appealed to the Supreme Court. Had it been, the final outcome may well have been far less draconian.

As recently as 3 March 2014, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council heard the appeal in Real Time Systems Ltd -v- Renraw & Others [2014] UKPC 6 which concerned concerning a decision made by the Court of Appeal of Trinidad & Tobago which overturned a Judge’s strike out order.

The Privy Council upheld the decision indicating that the correct route would have been to apply for an unless order rather than an order to strike out the claim. The significance of this Privy Council decision is that it was made by three Supreme Court Judges (Lords Mance, Clarke and Sumption) who found that there was no reason why the Court, faced with an application to strike out, should not conclude that the justice of the particular case “militates against this nuclear option”, and that the appropriate course instead would be to order a Claimant to supply further details, or serve an amended statement of case including such details, within a further specified period.

When delivering this judgment Lord Mance commented that “…it would again be very strange if, by choosing only to apply for the more radical than the more moderate remedy, a Defendant could force the Court’s hand, and deprive it of the option to arrive at a more proportionate solution.” Words of wisdom indeed but cold comfort perhaps for Mr Mitchell and his legal representatives!

Here is a link to the judgment referred to above: Real Time Systems Limited v Renraw and Others [