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Tribunal of Commissioners                                                                                                    25 November 2005

Case Nos CDLA/2879/2004 and CDLA/2899/2004

such that he is unable to walk. In the present case on the evidence before them the Medical Board and the Medical Appeal Tribunal held that this man was not suffering any physical disablement: he was suffering from a functional disablement.  That was a matter which was entirely for them, and neither the Commissioner nor this court can possibly interfere with the finding.

That is sufficient to dispose of the appeal. It should be said that, subsequent to the decision of the Commissioner, the matter went before an adjudicator who granted the applicant mobility allowance for life from a date in 1985 because he had in front of him the report of the psychiatrist giving a physical cause to the hysteria and thus bringing the man within the statutory provisions.  Thus the present appeal is really confined only to an attempt to achieve a payment during the period 1983 to 1985.”

92.Stocker LJ, having cited the last sentence of paragraph 6 of Mr Commissioner Monroe’s decision (set out in paragraph 89 above) said:

“That sentence seems to me to encapsulate the position and constitutes a refinement of the findings of the Medical Tribunal.  Hysteria is not itself a physical condition, since physical and hysterical conditions are often used as contrasting terms, and in my view correctly so.  The Commissioner points out, however, that where hysteria is itself a consequence of a physical condition, it is open to a Tribunal or Medical Board, as a matter of medical opinion, to find that where hysteria is caused by a physical condition, (for example, due to pain due to some spinal condition), the inability to walk may itself be caused by that same physical condition.  It may be, though we do not know, that it was on that basis, that is to say the basis of the psychiatrist’s report, which was not before the Medical Board or the Medical Appeal Tribunal, to the effect that the hysteria was caused by pain caused by a physical spinal condition, that the adjudicator was persuaded to grant a mobility allowance for the future.”

93.Mr Maurici submitted that that case is effectively on all fours with the appeals before us now.  Mr Kolinsky submitted that Harrison does not determine the answer to the issue before us, for three reasons.

94.First, Mr Kolinsky submitted that it was not argued before the Court of Appeal that the claimant’s hysteria in that case had physical manifestations which rendered him unable to walk, and therefore the Court of Appeal’s decision cannot be regarded as deciding the point.  This is the basis on which Harrison was distinguished in CDLA/948/2000 and CDLA/3323/2003, in passages on which Mr Kolinsky relies.  In the former Mr Deputy Commissioner Mark said:

“… [I]t does not appear from the report [of Harrison] that there was any physical factor which arose as a result of the hysteria which itself led to the limitations on the claimant’s mobility. [Harrison], therefore, is authority only in a case where there is no physical cause for the mental state and no resulting physical factor which limits the claimant’s mobility.”

In CDLA/3323/2003 Mr Commissioner Rowland, having stated that the claimant’s argument in Harrison had been that even if his condition was hysterically based it was still a manifestation of his physical condition as a whole, continued:

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