A more recent version of these Finality notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Principles of Civil Procedure Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Finality See also Appeals (reopening) & Collective redress notes (opt-out / binding opt-in) The value of certainty Ampthill Peerage Case (1977) per Lord Wilberforce
? the need for justice, including certainty & finality, can prevail over need for truth
? if rights can always be unwound, then are less valuable & creates uncertainty
? Exceptions o Appeals, including out of time o Judgments to be attacked on grounds of fraud (at least of a party, if not of witnesses) o Extensions of limitation periods for mistake, fraud etc
? Interests o Certainty of rights --- favours finality, unless claim based on rights frustrated by factors beyond claimant's control o Access to justice o Proportionate use of public & private resources --- proportionality can cut both ways, so fact sensitive o For defendants, peace from litigation & vexation o Public interest in correct outcomes --- but time erodes value of evidence o Avoiding inconsistent judgments Rules for avoiding re-litigation Time limits Res judicata
? Same parties cannot relitigate same issue --- including (a) cause of action estoppel and (b) issue estoppel
? Arises only in relation to final judgments --- include default & consent judgments
? Possibly only adversarial litigation --- eg child welfare proceedings excluded
? Can be waived --- subject to public interest in overriding objective re fair allocation of resources
? Applies only to same parties or their privies: Resolution Chemicals o Whether new party had interest in subject matter of previous litigation o Whether new party was in reality the party to the original proceeding o Whether it was just that the new party should be bound by the outcome of the previous litigation
? Policy o Protects due process rights of strangers o Judgments inadmissible as evidence in other proceedings: Bairstow
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Principles of Civil Procedure Notes.