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12.The Court also depreciated the defendant’s argument that the proceedings were an abuse of process by circumventing the judicial review safeguards in relation to matters such as time limits.  The Court said that following Clark v University of Lincolnshire & Humberside22 the correct question was not whether the right procedure had been adopted, but whether the judicial review safeguards had been flouted in circumstances that meant the proceedings could not be conducted justly23.   The Court drew attention to the fact that the case could require substantial cross-examination, which was more conveniently provided for outside of the Administrative Court and that a jury could not be empanelled in the Administrative Court (which the claimants were entitled to by virtue of section 66(3) of the County Courts Act 1984)24.  The Court pointed out that there was nothing to prevent a High Court judge with Administrative Court experience sitting in the County Court to conduct the trial with a jury25.

Quantification of Non-Pecuniary Damages

13.In the leading case of Thompson & Hsu v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [1998] 1 QB 498 the Court of Appeal gave guidance as to the way in which awards in civil actions against the police for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution should be broken down and the range of figures that the Court should have in mind.  Although the guidance was primarily aimed at directions to be given to juries, it has been universally adopted by judges at first instance and the appellate courts when assessing the value of non-pecuniary loss in false imprisonment claims against the police26.  The guidance referred to the fact that compensatory damages were of two types, basic and aggravated damages and continued (as relevant for a false imprisonment claim):

“(4) In a straightforward case of wrongful arrest and imprisonment or malicious prosecution the jury should be informed of the approximate figure to be taken as the correct starting point for basic damages for the actual loss of liberty or for the wrongful prosecution, and also given an approximate ceiling figure. It should be explained that these are no more

22 [2000] 1 WLR 1988.

23 See paras 103-104.

24 See para. 105.

25 See para. 129.

26 An entitlement to substantial (as opposed to nominal) damages has been recognised even if the claimant was unaware that his detention was unlawful at the time, see Roberts v Chief Constable of Cheshire (above).

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