20th Jan 2020


In this appeal before the Privy Council (from the Court of Appeal of St Helena), Benjamin Channer (instructed by Attorney General of St Helena) acted for the appellant. Caroline Harrison QC was leading.

Lord Briggs: “This appeal arises out of two very serious personal injury cases about grave medical malpractice and negligence by a doctor employed on the island by the Government of St Helena. In both cases the plaintiffs were awarded substantial general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (“PSLA”). The trial judge, the Chief Justice of St Helena, quantified those damages by the application of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases (“the JC Guidelines”) published at the material time in England and Wales, in relation to injuries of the type suffered by the plaintiffs. He did so without any adjustment of the relevant amounts for PSLA by reference to any difference in local conditions as between St Helena and England and Wales, thereby departing from a practice which had grown up in earlier personal injuries cases in St Helena, whereby the amount of damages derived from the application of the JC Guidelines had been discounted by reference to the disparity between average earnings in St Helena and those in England and Wales.”

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