New Appeal: Supreme Court to review if Court of Appeal misunderstood the role of an appellate court

Court of AppealIn this determination (Leopardstown Club v Templeville Developments) the Supreme Court granted Leopardstown leave to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal, where it is alleged that the COA overturned the High Court trial judge’s findings of fact.

The Supreme Court determined that it is an issue of genuine public interest that an appeal be allowed where it is alleged that the COA misapplied the rule from Hay v O’Grady regarding the role of an appellate court.

The rule from Hay v. O’Grady [1992] 1 I.R. 210 was stated by by McCarthy J at 217:

1. An appellate court does not enjoy the opportunity of seeing and hearing the witnesses as does the trial judge who hears the substance of the evidence but, also, observes the manner in which it is given and the demeanour of those giving it. The arid pages of a transcript seldom reflect the atmosphere of a trial.

2. If the findings of fact made by the trial judge are supported by credible evidence, this Court is bound by those findings, however voluminous and, apparently, weighty the testimony against them. The truth is not the monopoly of any majority. …

The Court’s determination states that:

Without in any way prejudging the issue, the principle established in the authority of Hay v. O’Grady [1992] 1 I.R. 210, and the jurisprudence derived therefrom, is fundamental to the operation and role of appeal courts, whether it be the Court of  Appeal, or this Court. … The legal status of explicit or implicit findings of fact, and inferences by a trial judge, are fundamental to the role of appeal courts. If there is misunderstanding, clarification of the law is a matter of general public importance to be determined by this Court.

The Court also granted leave to appeal regarding the correct interpretation of s 86 of the Land & Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (here) and the COA’s application of the rule from Gahan v. Boland, to clarify whether constructive notice is a defence against a claim of misrepresentation.

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  1. New Appeal: Supreme Court approves a second appeal relating to the CoA’s application of Hay v O’Grady | SCOIRLBLOG
  2. New Appeal: Supreme Court grants third appeal relating to the CoA’s application of the principles from Hay v O’Grady | SCOIRLBLOG

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